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Professor of History and Political Science in McPherson College; 
Member of the American Historical Association ; the Ameri- 
can Political Science Association; the Mississippi 
Valley Historical Association. 


Published by the Author 
McPherson, Kansas 



copyright, 1922 

By Elmer Le Roy Craik 

Mcpherson, kan. 


SEP I , , 922 

Press of 

Daily Republican 













I. The Beginnings. (1855-1861) 13 

II. The Civil War. (1861-1865) 22 

III. The Seasoning Period. (1865-1878) 27 

IV. Expansion and Growth. (1878-1886) 37 

V. Ad Astra per Aspera. (1886 to the present) 46 

VI. Annual Conferences in Kansas. (1883, 1887, 1896, 1917) . .59 

VII. McPherson College. (1887-1921) 65 

VIII. Philanthropies of the Church 83 

IX. The Division of 1881 92 

X. Districts of Kansas 96 

XL Congregational Histories 100 

XII. Biographical Sketches 268 

XIII. Appendix 382 


Pioneers in Kansas 17 

Presidents of McPherson College 69 

A Group of Brethren Prominent on Church Boards 86 

A Group of Evangelists 90 

A Few Prominent Elders 104 

A Group of Kansas Pastors 124 

Leading Brethren Educators 365 


History is one of our most important sciences. Dur- 
ing the last fifty years the science of History has come 
into its place as one of our most valuable assets. We now 
realize that only as we know the history of nations, 
movements, organizations, and peoples, can we under- 
stand their nature, their significance, and their probable 
direction and end. We do not expect to understand any- 
thing today without going into its history. This is true 
of the various sciences, philosophy, and art, as well as 
the modern human institutions. History is the key to the 
understanding of life, and therefore to the solution of 
our human problems. All our moral and ethical prob- 
lems rest upon history, and our religious ideas and forms 
have an historical background, the knowledge of which 
is necessary to make them intelligible and vital. 

It is most fortunate that a number of men have lately 
taken in hand the task of writing the history of the 
Church of the Brethren in the various districts and sec- 
tions of the country before it is too late. Soon the pio- 
neers will pass away and in many cases, since church re- 
cords are often inadequate, their passing will entail an 
irretrievable loss. Professor Craik has done an incalcul- 
able service to the church to write the history of the 
Brethren in Kansas just in time to verify and clarify the 
most vital facts by consultation with the pioneers who are 
going yonder so rapidly. If this work had been begun a 
few years later, its value would be very much lessened. 
It is my hope that each new history that is produced will 
inspire some one in other districts to take up the task 
before it is too late. 

Furthermore, Professor Craik has a unique fitness for 
this task. A native of Kansas, he has an abiding inter- 
est in this state. He has the instinct of the scholar and 
is one of the most painstaking men I ever knew in his 
zeal for accuracy and completeness. Every fact re- 
counted in this splendid history has been verified from 


many angles and the whole scope of historical resources 
has been exhausted that he might give incontestable 
facts — real history. 

But history is infinitely more than a chronology of 
facts. It is an interpretation of life, of the real currents 
of human thought and action, and therefore the histor- 
ian must carefully evaluate facts and select those that 
are vital to a true interpretation of human achievement. 
With this rare and valuable talent our author is richly 
endowed. By instinct and training he has the gift of 
presenting to us the Brethren of the past as though they 
were living before our eyes. Just as national history is 
essential to develop patriotism, so the history of the 
Brethren, the pioneers, those splendid self-sacrificing 
saints who builded our churches, will promote loyalty to 
the Church and foster a greater zeal to promote her ideals. 
It is very important that we teach more history and that 
we should acquaint our children with the noble saints 
of the past so that they will have a growing admiration 
for the church that we love. 

Professor Craik has not written this book in the spirit 
of simply presenting cold facts, but his love and loyalty 
to the church glows with the missionary spirit. He has 
labored patiently and hard and has gone to great ex- 
pense that he might do a real service to the church and 
the Kingdom. I am sure that it will add interest to the 
reader to know of his fine devotion to the great Cause, 
and that added to his native ability and his excellent 
training for the work, his real fitness was possible be- 
cause he loves and serves the church whose history he 

Professor Craik was born near the village of Mari- 
etta, in Marshall county, Kansas, on March 7, 1886. He 
is the oldest son (and only living son) of David J. and 
Mary (Rink) Craik. The father, now deceased, was of 
Scotch-English origin and the mother is German. The 
author's education was begun in the Marysville, Kansas, 
schools, but continued in schools in and about Adrian, 
Mo., to which place the family moved in 1893. At the 
age of fifteen he went to Tonkawa, Okla., where his par- 
ents had moved, and here in 1902, he entered the newly 


established University Preparatory School, from which, 
however, he did not graduate. It was here that he re- 
ceived his inspiration to become a teacher. He taught 
school two years in Oklahoma. The death of his father 
on April 17, 1906, threw the responsibility of supporting 
a mother and two sisters upon his shoulders. 

His burning desire to enter college culminated when, 
on September 6, 1907, he arrived in McPherson, where 
in a few days he registered as a college freshman. His 
studies were largely along classical lines. On December 
1, 1907, during a revival held by T. S. Moherman, he 
professed Christ and was baptized by Frank H. Crum- 
packer, now of China. He has always taken much in- 
terest in church activities. On May 27, 1910, he was 
graduated from McPherson College with the degree 
Bachelor of Arts. The following September he took 
charge of the department of Latin and Greek in his alma 
mater. Later the Greek was dropped and he taught 

Desiring further preparation, in 1915 he secured a 
leave of absence and entered the graduate school of the 
University of Kansas, as a fellow in History. He spent 
two whole years in study, supplementing this, however, 
with summer work done in 1911, 1913, and 1916. In 
June, 1916, he was granted the degree of Master of Arts 
by the University. He was granted the degree Doctor of 
Philosophy by the University on June 5, 1922. His dis- 
sertation is entitled "Southern Interest in Territorial Kan- 
sas." He is a member of the American Historical Asso- 
ciation, the American Political Science Association, and 
the Mississippi Valley Historical Association. 

On September 7, 1910, Professor Craik was united in 
marriage with Miss Elva Rosetta Miller, of Lone Star, 
Kansas, a former student of McPherson College. They 
are the parents of two sons, David Warren and Eldon Li- 
onel, and one daughter, Lois Laurene. 

June, 1922. D. W. Kurtz 


The present work is the result of a preliminary study 
of Brethren history in Kansas carried on in the historical 
seminar of the University of Kansas during the scholas- 
tic year 1915-1916, which study satisfied the research 
requirement of that institution for the degree Master of 
Arts. Thru an examination of the files of the church 
periodicals and by means of correspondence the sources 
were opened up to such a degree that a more extended 
and more intensive treatment of the subject seemed the 
logical consequence. The thesis was therefore made the 
basis of the work in hand. Many errors occurring therein 
have been corrected, unnecessary introductory matter has 
been eliminated, and many details of interest chiefly to 
the Brethren have been introduced. 

The purpose has been to include a creditable sketch 
of every congregation that has ever existed in the state 
— a plan which, it is felt, has been largely realized. 
Considerations of relative importance and the availabil- 
ity of data have largely determined the length of the var- 
ious congregational sketches. Thousands of pages of 
source material have been consulted. Biographical mater- 
ial has been selected with great care and discrimination. 
Recognizing the high merit of the biographies in "Some 
Who Led" and "Thirty-Three Years of Missions", the 
author's policy has been to exclude details of all sketches 
which properly belong here but which are so well done 
in those works. This is done in the interest of economy 
of space and thanks are hereby tendered the authors of 
those works for the use of such data as has been taken. 
Lack of space has also necessitated the cutting down of 
material in several instances. The question of omitting 
certain facts has been as serious a problem as that of col- 
lecting facts. More cuts would have been desirable had 
not the cost been an obstacle. 

The author has experienced many of the disappoint- 
ments common to students in historical research every- 



where. He wishes to add his testimony to the already 
abundant evidence of the altogether too prevalent indif- 
ference of the Church of the Brethren to her own history. 
He disavows any intention to omit salient facts in the story 
told in this book and the responsibility for any serious 
omissions must for obvious reasons be partially borne by 
others. Destroyed records, negligent correspondents, 
treacherous memories, and lack of interest in answering 
questionnaires, have hindered the progress and speed of 
an undertaking made possible only by the genuine histor- 
ical insight and enthusiasm of a chosen few. Their coop- 
eration has indeed been commendable. A list of all who 
have contributed information to the following pages 
would be unfair by reason of its necessary incomplete- 
ness, but the gratitude of the author is none the less deep 
and sincere. 

I am under lasting obligations to numerous of my 
friends for material aid and encouragement in the prepar- 
ation of this volume. The aid of several colleagues on the 
faculty of McPherson College has been inspiring. Presi- 
dent D. W. Kurtz, A. M., D. D., and Professor W. O. Beck- 
ner, A. M., have read the manuscript and have given 
timely and helpful advice in the selection of material. 
Mrs. Amanda Fahnestock, A. B., B. D., long identified 
with the college, has read and criticized the chapter deal- 
ing with the history of McPherson College. Miss Edith 
McGaffey, A. M., professor of English, has read carefully 
the manuscript with a view of correcting grammatical and 
rhetorical errors. Isaac D. Gibbel of Carthage, Mo., has fa- 
cilitated the labor of securing data by donating to the Car- 
negie Library of McPherson College rather complete files 
of the various Brethren publications dating back to 1851. 1 
count myself fortunate to have had the late D. L. Miller 
and that veteran school-man, S. Z. Sharp, inspect the man- 

Although in some respects the work was begun too 
late, material in abundance is to be found, but it will re- 
quire long and patient effort to bring it to light. The 
present task represents the serious endeavor of over four 
years. Accuracy of statement has been sought thru the 
medium of a voluminous correspondence carried on with 


persons living all over the United States. The writing of 
this book has been a labor of love thruout, and the author, 
writing amid the exacting duties of teaching, will exper- 
ience his chief satisfaction in having placed at the dis- 
posal of the public a reasonably authoritative history, pre- 
pared for the humble purpose of preserving for those to 
come after us a record of which none may be ashamed. 
With the hope that a perusal of its pages may serve as a 
source of information, inspiration, and encouragement 
to the reader and with a prayer that it may tend to mag- 
nify the cause of the church we love, this book is sent 
forth by 

The Author 

College Hill, McPherson, Kansas. 
June 18, 1922. 



IT was in territorial days that the Church of the Breth- 
ren 1 made its advent into Kansas. While there were 
perhaps a very few members in Jefferson county, possibly 
several in Jackson county, and certainly one in Douglas 
county before 1855, it was not until that year that we have 
definite information regarding their presence. Brethren 
immigration to Kansas began with the coming of the Ul- 
rich party, which was destined to be the nucleus of the 
Cottonwood congregation in Lyon (then Breckenridge) 

Jacob Ulrich was a well-to-do farmer living in the Net- 
tle Creek church near Richmond, Indiana. He had exten- 
sive holdings in both Wayne and Henry counties. Pre- 
vious to 1855 he had made perhaps two trips to Kansas 
Territory, being, as one of his sons describes him, a sort 
of natural rover. His objective was eastern Kansas but 
on one of these trips he came as far west as Fort Riley. 
Disposing of his Indiana property early in 1855, Brother 
Ulrich headed a caravan of eleven wagons bound for Kan- 
sas. The other members of the party were : Aaron Eller 
and family, I. B. Hoover and family, William Rafe and 
family, Daniel Holsinger and family, Henry Messen- 
heimer and family, the Evans family, and David Longan- 
ecker, an unmarried man. The Evans family stopped off 
in Illinois about fifty miles east of St. Louis, while the 
rest turned their faces resolutely toward the west. The 
route took them thru Indianapolis, Terre Haute, St. Louis 
and Kansas City (then Westport.) They arrived in West- 
port Oct. 20, 1855, and decided to spend the winter where 
comforts of life were easier obtained than they were on 
the Kansas side. Accordingly, they took up temporary 

1. Thruout this work the name "Church of the Brethren" is used although 
in some instances the older form, "German Baptist Brethren", is necessary. 



residence at Wyandotte, doing all their trading at Park- 
ville, ten miles up the Missouri river. 

It appears that while waiting here at Wyandotte Ja- 
cob Ulrich went out to Ozawkie to see his cousin Jacob 
Brown relative to the prospect of securing land, but the 
trip was fruitless, since there was no chance to make use 
of float titles in that locality. So in March, 1856, the im- 
migrants started out on the old Santa Fe trail for Breck- 
enridge county, where, thru the agency of Peter Iken- 
berry, also from Indiana, they found a favorable location. 
The float titles were used to secure for Ulrich two sec- 
tions of good Wyandotte Indian land, ten miles southwest 
of the site of present-day Emporia. Daniel Ulrich, a son 
of Jacob, was present when the first load of material was 
unloaded preparatory to erecting the first building in Em- 
poria. The other members of the Ulrich party settled in 
the vicinity of the future city. 

Theirs was the usual lot of the frontiersman, but they 
went to work with a will. Their spiritual welfare was 
not neglected, for in that very summer (1856) the first 
congregation of the Church of the Brethren to be organ- 
ized in Kansas was established under the name of the Cot- 
tonwood church. The charter members were : Jacob Ul- 
rich and wife, I. B. Hoover, Peter Ikenberry, Gabriel Ja- 
cobs, wife and daughter, and David Longanecker. The 
first sermon preached by a Brethren minister was deliv- 
ered in the summer of 1856, by Gabriel Jacobs, late of 
Delaware county, Ind., who had that spring taken a claim 
twelve miles south of Emporia. The first love feast was 
celebrated at Jacob Ulrich's home in December, 1856. 

The location in Breckenridge county, however, did not 
prove to be altogether satisfactory. The ague became a 
disturbing feature, and as the closest physician lived fifty 
miles distant, considerations of health dictated a move. 
The Ellers and Messenheimers went to Iowa, the Ulrichs 
went to Douglas county, while the Holsingers remained 
where they first located. The first bit of correspondence 
from Kansas to be found in the Gospel Visitor is from the 
pen of Jacob Ulrich. He writes Dec. 30, 1856: 

There are but a few members here and only one laborer in the 
Word. He holds meeting every four weeks in rotation. His name is 


Gabriel Jacobs. We now live on Cottonwood (river), twenty miles 
south of Council Grove; but we intend, God willing, by the first of 
March to move eight miles south of Lawrence to a place called Hickory 
Point, near the Santa Fe road. This is a pleasant and fertile country, 
the climate mild and good for a prairie country, and it is hoped that 
peace, one of the greatest comforts and blessings of this world, is once 
more restored in Kansas; this is the general belief here. 

One has but to reflect that the Brethren entered Kan- 
sas during a period of violence to realize that peace was 
at this time much longed for. The Wakarusa war ended 
in December, 1855, but that was not the end of the strug- 
gle, for on May 21, 1856, Sheriff Jones entered and 
sacked the town of Lawrence and three days thereafter 
John Brown perpetrated the famous Pottawatomie mas- 
sacre. Genuine border warfare set in for a period of 
about four months, — Missourians against Kansans, pro- 
slavery men against free-state men. Any history of the 
state will set forth the details of this period to the satis- 
faction of the reader. Suffice it to say that the arrival of 
Governor Geary, third territorial executive, betokened the 
restoration of order, and after September, 1856, lawless- 
ness for some time subsided. 

The subsequent history of the Cottonwood church will 
be sketched elsewhere. It is a checkered history. It 
strikes one as pathetic that this, the first congregation in 
the state, should have long since become decadent. We 
must now relate a few facts respecting the second congre- 
gation in the state, viz., Washington Creek. 

Once settled south of Lawrence about eight miles, Ja- 
cob Ulrich became the prime mover in organizing the few 
members who either came with him from Cottonwood 
or had come directly to Douglas county. Among the 
newcomers was Elder Abraham Rothrock, late of the 
state of Pennsylvania, who had been attracted to Kansas 
by Bro. Ulrich's articles in the church paper, and who be- 
came the first elder of the Brethren in the state. Prior to 
the organization, services were held in the Ulrich school 
house. The organization occurred in the year 1858 in 
Stephen Studebaker's log house about four miles south- 
west of the present Pleasant Grove church. There were 
twelve members: Abraham Rothrock and wife, Stephen 
Studebaker and wife, Daniel Studebaker and wife, Dan- 


iel Keeny and wife, Jacob Markley and wife, Isaac B. 
Hoover, David Kinzie. At this first meeting the first elec- 
tion was held among the Brethren in Kansas, Daniel 
Studebaker being elected to the ministry and Isaac B. 
Hoover to the deacon's office. Brother Rothrock was 
chosen elder in charge. The first strictly accurate date 
we have concerning any meeting in the state is May 22, 
1859, when a love feast was held at the home of Jacob 
Ulrich, south of Lawrence. A further account of the 
Washington Creek church, one of the most important in 
Kansas, will be found among the sketches of the various 

One other congregation was organized in Kansas be- 
fore the Civil War broke out. The Wolf River church in 
Doniphan county dates back at least to September, 1859, 
when the first love feast was held in that congregation. 
Its history was destined to be more or less tumultuous. It 
passed out of existence in 1900. During the Civil War 
one congregation of real importance was established, viz., 
the Grasshopper Falls (Ozawkie) church; 1862 was the 
year, but no one remembers the exact date. It has en- 
joyed a quiet career and today ranks as one of the leading 
churches in Northeastern Kansas. 

But hard times came early upon the Kansas Brethren. 
The year 1860 brought a failure of crops because of the 
drought. Conditions in Douglas county are described 
thus : 

We have had no rain to moisten the ground over four inches for 
one year. Sometime this week we had one shower. In February we 
had one; in May another; in August perhaps three or four smaller 
showers merely to start the eaves to drop. We had no snow to cover 
the ground last winter. Thus from the Kansas River to the South 
line of Kansas and as much further as we have heard from the 
drought is severe. The balance of the territory is a failure. Wheat 
has heretofore yielded productively; this year the 20th bushel sown 
is not harvested. The winds blew from the South regularly through 
July and August and some days were too hot for any human being to 

be out There are perhaps 40 to 50 Brethren families in Kansas. 

Some have funds to buy with until harvest, others are out of funds 

now There has been wheat sent from Wayne county, Indiana, but 

the freight and commission are $2.00 per 100 weight, and in some 
cases more, which is near what the price of wheat is in Kansas City. 






1 think I may say that one-fourth of the land in Kansas 

is under mortgages to Eastern speculators, and these mortgages will 
be due next spring and to purchase the land at a low price would be 
doing the present owners a favor and prevent it from falling into the 
hands of the speculators. The water in Kansas is very low. But each 
neighborhood has plenty for house use. 1 

The drought began in June, 1859, and from then until 
November, 1860, it was intense. There were perhaps 
100,000 people in the territory when it began to cease 
raining and of these fully 60,000 would need help. Dur- 
ing the fall of 1860, 30,000 settlers forsook their claims 
and left Kansas. Charity was necessary for the 30,000 
who remained on their claims. 2 

Bishop Henry Kurtz, editor of the Gospel Visitor, in 
commenting upon Bro. Ulrich's letter, quoted in extenso 
above, suggested that the needy in stricken Kansas thru 
their respective church organizations appoint committees 
to receive and distribute aid. No doubt it was due to this 
suggestion that the Washington Creek church, southwest 
of Lawrence, authorized Elder Abraham Rothrock to so- 
licit aid in the East and published in the Gospel Visitor a 
statement of that fact properly signed by the local church 
officials. Elder Rothrock left home on Oct. 9, 1860, to 
solicit funds not only for his own brethren but for his de- 
serving neighbors as well. The details of his trip are not 
available, but his itinerary included the churches of Illi- 
nois, Indiana, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He went as far 
East as Philadelphia. He remarked that he found people 
willing far beyond his expectation to contribute to the 
needy in Kansas. Returning by way of Pittsburg and St. 
Louis he arrived home on Dec. 30, 1860. 

This trip of Elder Rothrock together with the frequent 
appeals of Editor Kurtz and personal appeals of the suf- 
fering brought a ready response from the East. The same 
issue of the Gospel Visitor which gave an account of Roth- 
rock's trip reported an offering of $216.74 from the Tus- 
carawas church, Ohio, to Jacob Ulrich in behalf of the 
needy near Lawrence. By the time of the February issue 
of the paper this fund for Western relief had mounted to 
$300. Editor Kurtz received these donations and sent 

1. Jacob Ulrich in G. V., Sept. 13, 1S60. 

2. Anna E. Arnold, A History of Kansas, pp. 10G-107. 


them on to Kansas, giving due credit in his paper. In 
March, 1861, reports showed that $750 had been ex- 

The Brethren in the East felt moved, perhaps because 
of certain rumors, to investigate conditions in Kansas by 
sending representative men along with their donations. 
In the spring of 1861, David Frantz and William Gibson 
of Cerro Gordo, 111., were sent by their home congrega- 
tion to take grain seed to Kansas. They took 600 bushels 
of corn, wheat, oats, and potatoes, and also 300 pounds 
of garden seed of all kinds, collected by the women of 
Illinois. Early in April they reached Lawrence, but seem- 
ingly left only thirteen bushels of their cargo here. Where 
the rest was distributed does not appear, but the same day 
they arrived in Lawrence four two-horse teams loaded 
with wheat and corn came from another direction. In 
less than four days all this was gone and more was 
wanted. There was great demand for spring garden 
seeds. It seems that Gibson and Frantz were rather 
"spying out the land" as a possible mission field, for while 
in Kansas they held fifteen meetings — all well attended 
— and reported conditions favorable for missionary ac- 

The Kansas Brethren considered themselves greatly 
favored during these trying times when Bishop Henry 
Kurtz, editor of the Gospel Visitor, made a special visit 
to the new state in order to see for himself the real condi- 
tion of affairs. On May 9, 1861, at a church council in 
Middle Pennsylvania, after depicting the sufferings of 
the Kansas people and securing the promise of aid, he an- 
nounced his intention of going in person to Kansas. An 
offering taken at the time placed $30 in his hands at once. 
On May 16, 1861, he issued his "last appeal" thru the 
monthly Visitor and was soon thereafter headed for the 
West. On May 24, he wrote home from Lawrence telling 
of his experiences. On May 25, Elder Kurtz preached at 
the Ulrich home. The next day he spoke at the Washing- 
ton Creek school house six miles southwest of Ulrich's. 
Of this latter meeting he said : "The school house, a very 
primitive building (cabin) was filled to the utmost capac- 
ity and surrounded by a crowd. The teacher's desk at 


which we were placed was of such a rickety fashion (a 
piece of board with four pins underneath for legs) that 
we were afraid to lean on it or lay our staff aside." This 
log school house was the second school building erected 
in Douglas county. Elder Kurtz's sermons were well re- 
ceived and made a great impression on the people of the 
community. His report was to the effect that he found 
fine prospects for crops and that there were very few 
cases of absolute want or distress. The crisis had now 

To correct a rumor that Kansas was subject to fre- 
quent droughts, C. Shank made this statement in the Gos- 
pel Visitor (Jan. 1861) : "Let us judge by the past, and 
the testimony we have from Indians and Missourians ex- 
tends back nearly thirty years, and it is entirely against 
such a conclusion: they agree on all sides that such as 
the present failure of crops has not been known." 

On July 15, 1861, Christian Shank of Lawrence ren- 
dered an account of his stewardship as clerk of the dis- 
tributing committee in Douglas county. Most of the pro- 
duce that had been shipped came from Illinois, — four 
shipments in all. Just how much money was sent is hard 
to determine. Shank placed the amount at $8,500, about 
a quarter of which was reported thru the Gospel Visitor. 
Abraham Rothrock was credited with having collected 
$500 during the winter of 1860-1861. But other accounts 
have it that Jacob Ulrich handled a total of $14,000 for 
the Kansas sufferers. 1 The Gospel Visitor received, ac- 
cording to a report published in July, 1863, a total of 
$2,289.33 for western relief. Illinois led in the giving, 
followed closely, however, by Indiana and Ohio. 

That the aid was distributed without regard to color 
or creed was perhaps largely due to Brethren Rothrock 
and Ulrich. This was preeminently the fair thing to do, 
since the contributions were given by people of varying 
shades of belief. Nothing was received from Pomeroy 
and the General Aid Committee. 

Two men — one a deacon and one at this time a layman 
— figured prominently in these trying times. More than 
any other man Jacob Ulrich put Kansas "on the map" as 

1. One of his sons made this statement to the author. 


far as the Brethren were concerned. Born in Roaring 
Spring, Pa., in 1800, he early emigrated to Dayton, Ohio, 
and later to Wayne county, Indiana, locating near Rich- 
mond. His coming to Kansas has already been described. 
As already noted, however, he was not the first member 
in Douglas county, for while attending a Fourth of July 
celebration at Clinton in 1857 he met David Kinzie, who 
doubtless had that distinction. Henceforth these two men 
were warm friends. Jacob Ulrich was widely known in 
the community, and being a man of affairs was once urged 
by his friends to run for a seat in the legislature. He was 
an intimate friend of "Old Jakie" Branson, an Indianan, 
now living at Hickory Point, and a conspicuous figure in 
the Wakarusa War. Ulrich was also a friend of "Jim" 
Lane and often had the distinguished senator at his hos- 
pitable board. He was the mainstay of the Brethren in 
the famine of 1860. He was a man of influence and being 
a facile writer often wrote for the columns of the Gospel 
Visitor. Thus Kansas was constantly kept before the 
readers of that paper. It was his writing which induced 
Gabriel Jacobs to move from Indiana to the Cottonwood 
church in 1856, and Abraham Rothrock to leave Pennsyl- 
vania to become a resident of Douglas county in the same 

One of the wealthiest and most influential Brethren 
in Kansas for many years was John C. Metsker of Marion 
township, Douglas county. He was a son-in-law of Jacob 
Ulrich. A native of Indiana, he came to Kansas with his 
family in September, 1859, and settled fourteen miles 
southwest of Lawrence. Here he lived until his death. 
Many times he proved himself to be the "friend indeed," 
and many times he came to the rescue of the finances of 
the church. At one time he was the largest taxpayer in 
Douglas county, being in possession of 2,100 acres of land. 
He spared neither time nor money in caring for the work 
of the church he loved. He was one of three brothers 
who settled near the Washington Creek church before 
the Civil War. Many descendants of these three men still 
reside in the community. 


CIVIL WAR TIMES (1861-1865) 

THE troublous days of the border warfare apparently 
brought little discomfort to the Brethren in Kansas. 
They were few in number and inconsequential in politics. 
It was generally known, of course, that they were strongly 
opposed to the institution of slavery. It happened, more- 
over, that most of the members settled in free-state com- 

In the spring of 1856 Jacob Ulrich was called on a 
business errand to his old home in Indiana. A wave of 
disorder set in before his return. It was just before the 
Wakarusa War. When he reached Kansas City on the 
return he was warned of the danger to be incurred across 
the border, and by advice of government authorities he 
took passage with the mail carrier who carried between 
Kansas City and Emporia. All went well until the two 
reached Bull Creek, where Ulrich's horses gave out, and 
acting upon the suggestion of the mail carrier, he looked 
up "Old Jakie" Branson of Hickory Point, just north of 
the present town of Baldwin. Being a stranger in the 
community he was able to find the Branson cabin only 
thru a government soldier stationed not far from the 
house. When the soldier and Ulrich caught sight of each 
other there was mutual trepidation, but upon drawing 
nearer together the former, noting the patriarchal ap- 
pearance of the good deacon, said : "Ha, grandpa ; you're 
not dangerous." . 

Jacob Ulrich's home was one of the stopping places 
of the celebrated John Brown of Osawatomie. It was 
shortly after the Osawatomie massacre that, being on the 
way home from Lawrence, he, with another man, put up 
for the night at the Ulrich home. The conversation at the 
breakfast table turned on the question of slavery. Daniel 
Ulrich, a son of Jacob, said he remembered quite vividly 
that John Brown, in addressing his father, said with em- 



phasis: "Mr. Ulrich, you show me a man that will justify 
slavery and I'll show you a man that's rotten to the core." 

Border troubles restrained immigration, then came the 
drought of 1859-1860, causing an actual loss of popula- 
tion. So it was with a greatly diminished population that 
Kansas, created a state on Jan. 29, 1861, faced the great- 
est military contest ever witnessed on this continent. 

The Civil War began in April, 1861. Feeling ran high 
in Kansas. Despite the untoward conditions of frontier 
life the new state during the following four years fur- 
nished over 20,000 men for the Union armies — almost 
4,000 more than she was asked for. Moreover, they were 
all volunteers. During the war the attempts of General 
Price to ravage the border counties and to assail Fort 
Leavenworth led to great reliance on the state militia. 
Thus it was that a number of young men of the Brethren 
or at least of Brethren parentage entered military service. 
Several of the members of the family of Abraham Roth- 
rock and Jacob Ulrich saw service in the state militia. 

The issue became so warm in Missouri that many 
Brethren were driven out of the state, suffering more or 
less persecution. Some of them made their way to free- 
state Kansas. Most of the refugees entered the state near 
Fort Scott. The presence of the Brethren in Douglas 
county prompted them to come north. Under date of Dec. 
12, 1861, Jacob Ulrich wrote in the Gospel Visitor: 

Kansas is so far undisturbed excepting a few small outbreaks 
committed by the rebels on the Eastern state line. Our laboring breth- 
ren in Missouri had all to flee; Br. Wm. Gish had to come to us, and 
had lived a while in Kansas but is now moved North. Br. Jacob Kaub 
with much trouble and distress got his family here, though the best 
of his team had been taken from him, and his son badly hurt, but has 
recovered again. Br. Joseph Kenny and Br. John Firestone came to 
my house on last Sat., the latter being robbed of his wagon and part 
of his team, had to leave all his property and some of his family be- 
hind; his wife has now gone back and will try to bring the children, 
clothing and bedding. Their crop is taken and destroyed. These breth- 
ren report that seven conservative Union men were killed near the 
Kansas line as they came [from Missouri]. By last account there 
were yet five families of Brethren in Missouri who have to make their 
escape from a merciless rabble. Thus it is our destiny to experience 
how these double-tongued men, calling themselves Gospel preachers, 


appeared so friendly and so smoothly invited our brethren to their pul- 
pits, and the brethren sometimes obeyed to the annoyance of some of 
their members. Now these same tongues want us all to take up arms 
and follow them to the field of battle, "and" (say they) "if you do not, 
you are our enemies, and as such we will treat you." 

The Jacob Kaub above mentioned located in northern 
Franklin county. The Kaub school house of today is on 
his farm. He later went off with the Old Orders. Henry 
Adolph, expelled from Dade county, Mo., drove thru with 
an ox team to Douglas county. Brethren Kenny, Fire- 
stone, and Isaac Kaylor were all from William Gish's old 
neighborhood, presumably Cedar county. Bro. Gish lo- 
cated at Ozawkie, becoming one of the well known elders 
of Kansas. 

On August 21, 1863, there occurred at Lawrence one 
of the most dastardly episodes of the whole war. William 
C. Quantrill, a guerilla of more or less notoriety, had for 
some time nursed a grievance against this free-state town. 
Going over into Missouri and gathering up some three 
hundred desperadoes, early on the morning of the day 
mentioned he swooped down on the defenceless town. 
In a few hours about one hundred fifty persons were 
killed and from one to two million dollars worth of prop- 
erty was destroyed. Vengeance had at last been visited 
upon the hated "Yankees." 

The drunken and infuriated band of desperadoes left 
burning Lawrence late in the forenoon, going almost di- 
rectly south from the present site of the University of 
Kansas on Mount Oread. Dinner time found them at the 
well-ordered farm of prosperous Deacon Jacob Ulrich, 
nine miles south of Lawrence. The aged brother was not 
aware of their malicious intentions, but two of his sons, 
John and Daniel, and a son-in-law, Joseph Shively, di- 
vined their fell purposes and rescued the unoffending 
deacon and his wife. The Quantrill band helped them- 
selves to all the eatables to be had. Then the house was 
fired, many valuable records and papers perishing 
therein. The fine $2,500 barn with its well-filled bins 
and mow went up in smoke. The total loss was about 
$6,000 — a considerable sum in those days. Leaving the 
buildings in ruins the raiders set out toward the Marais 


des Cygnes river, hoping to escape thence into Missouri. 
John Ulrich wished to pursue the fleeing mob, but the 
better counsel of his father prevailed, the latter insisting 
firmly upon an adherence to the well-known non-resis- 
tant principles of the church. 

The guerillas brought distress to the quiet home of El- 
der Abraham Rothrock, who lived south of the Ulrich 
farm. It appears that Elder Rothrock, warned of the ap- 
proach of the long-haired ruffians, had betaken himself 
to a hiding place in the cornfield, but that seeming to see 
his wife and daughter mistreated at their hands, he re- 
turned to the house. He took a stand near the open cellar 
door and undertook to reason with the guerillas. One of 
the rasher of them thereupon shot him thrice, throwing 
him into the cellar with the remark : "That's the way we 

treat all d d old preachers." The house was then 

fired and the band moved on south. As they left, one of 
the men, a former neighbor named Campbell, remained 
to help care for the wounded elder. Daniel Ulrich was 
also present and assisted in carrying the victim up 
out of the cellar. Bro. Rothrock received wounds in the 
back of the neck, shoulder and chin. He survived the in- 
juries, however, and lived until 1870. Thru it all he 
never deviated from his conscientious principles. While 
he lay in bed a neighbor, a Baptist preacher named 
Tucker, called, and thinking to discover a weakening in 
the elder's views, asked : "Mr. Rothrock, what would you 
do if you had those men [the guerillas] in your power 
now?" Quick as a flash the prostrate man replied: "I 
would convert every one of them." "Well," said the 
neighbor, "that beats my religion." 

It was currently reported that the guerillas were bent 
on taking the life of J. C. Metsker. How desirous they 
were of doing so is a matter of dispute, but that brother 
took his family to the woods to make safe. He suffered 
no molestation whatever. 

The Ozawkie church was established in 1862. This 
was during the war. The members here experienced no 
inconvenience whatever. It was fully understood that 
they were from loyal states — most of them from Indiana 
— and they did not make themselves offensive politically. 


Not much real church history of the Civil War period 
is recorded. Perhaps not much was made. A few mem- 
bers migrated to the few scattered congregations of the 
state, but as to baptisms during the war there seems to 
be absolutely no way of knowing. Border warfare, the 
famine of 1859-1860, and above all the terrible fratricidal 
strife of 1861-1865 were deterrents to immigration. But 
there were brighter days ahead. 



THE Civil War over, Kansas again appealed to the East 
as a place of settlement. Many soldiers took claims 
within its borders. In 1885, according to Arnold (A His- 
tory of Kansas, p. 119), nearly 100,000 citizens of Kansas 
were old soldiers. The homestead law of 1862 was lib- 
eral in its provisions. The great railroad projects, some 
of them set on foot during the war, turned public atten- 
tion toward the Jayhawker state. The old Santa Fe trail 
which angles across the state, carefully picking the best 
wagon road, drew many wanderers over pleasant prai- 
ries and thus advertised broad stretches of government 
land to future residents. From 1822 to 1872 the trail was 
a much used thoroughfare. Then too, the unique relation 
of Kansas to the great Civil War and the issues at stake 
in that mighty struggle enlisted in behalf of the new 
state a sentiment that has meant much in developing the 
commonwealth. The railroads, colonization projects, and 
cheap lands of Kansas occupied such a place in the public 
prints that when dissatisfied Easterners wished to make 
a move they instinctively thought of Kansas. Few states 
enjoyed such favorable publicity. 

Although details are not at hand, we know that the 
Brethren began coming in soon after the war. In 1866 
seven members were found in Marion county, but the clos- 
est church was forty miles away. By 1868 there were 
enough members in Bourbon county, west of Fort Scott, 
to organize the Paint Creek church. Members were com- 
ing into Doniphan county and the Wolf River congrega- 
tion (organized in 1859) took on new life. In 1858, John 
Humbargar located near what is now Minneapolis, where 
he lived until 1869, when he helped organize the Abilene 
congregation — the first church to be organized west of 
Cottonwood. But the great influx of population was to 
southeastern Kansas, where in 1872 we find several 



churches organized. There were members by this time in 
the counties of Anderson, Bourbon, Brown, Cowley, Elk, 
Franklin, Labette, Neosho, Republic, and Wilson. A more 
or less constant stream of correspondence from these mem- 
bers, many of them isolated, is to be found during this per- 
iod in the columns of the church papers. Somehow, La- 
bette and Neosho counties appeared to have gotten most 
frequent and favorable mention. The salient fact is that 
from 1865 to 1872 the Brethren were coming to Kansas to 
make homes and build up churches. Their annals are 
"short and simple." 

The year 1874 will ever stand out in bold relief in the 
West as being "grasshopper year." There had been other 
years when the pest of grasshoppers was experienced but 
no such year of suffering as the one just indicated. The 
grasshoppers came into the state from the northwest and 
moved southeast. They obscured the sun in certain local- 
ities. Naturally, relief was most needed in the newer set- 
tled districts. Most of the requests for help came from 
northern and western Kansas, but some were from the 
older settled eastern section. Conditions in Russell 
county were desperate. One of the Brethren wrote: 

The weather has been very dry and the grasshoppers have de- 
stroyed everything here this summer. There is no money in the 
country and no sale for anything.- The one-half of the people in this 
country will not be able to live this winter without help from some 
source. I do not think there was one bushel of corn raised in the 
county this season, and I know that I cannot support my family unless 
I get help from somewhere. Myself and five or six of my neighbors 
went 100 miles west of here about a month ago to gather bones so that 
we would be able to keep our families this winter. We had been at 
work but a few days when about 25 Indians came into our camp while 
we were out after our loads, with the exception of two boys. The In- 
dians fired at them, instantly killing one, while the other was fortu- 
nate enough to make his escape. Then they destroyed everything we 
had; took all our clothing, quilts, blankets, tent, wagon sheets, and 
what provisions they could not carry off they scattered over the 
ground. They also took two mules and one horse, and cut a new set 
of harness to pieces. 

Allen Ives of Burr Oak, Jewell county, set forth the 
condition of affairs at that place. The White Rock con- 
gregation had about forty-four families, some of whom 


had been living there for three years, but the most of them 
for but two. Bro. Ives estimated that $3,000 would be 
needed to get them thru the winter and to secure seed 
wheat the next spring. Said he : "Brethren, we will ac- 
cept thankfully whatever donations you make to us; will 
return receipts for each donation whenever desired, and 
will publish a statement of all money received and how 
applied. Or we will do this: We, the White Rock con- 
gregation, will borrow of any brother or brethren three 
thousand (3,000) dollars at ten per cent per annum, and 
obligate ourselves to pay the principal in ten years." 

Many were the calls from local churches for aid dur- 
ing the grasshopper year. One of the earliest to issue a 
call was Cedar Creek at Garnett, Anderson county. Dec. 
24, 1874, a statement signed by Jesse Studebaker, Peter 
Struble and Emanuel J. Miller, ministers, and John M. 
Miller, C. Rodabaugh, and L. P. Lilly, deacons, designated 
Jesse Studebaker as receiving agent for that community. 
On Dec. 25, 1874, the Washington Creek congregation, 
thru Jas. E. Hilkey, John Bower, Peter Brubaker, Chris- 
topher Flory and John W. Stutzman, ministers, and Dan- 
iel Weybright, John L. Winter, Eli Flory, Henry Spitler, 
Jacob Markley and Levi Flory, deacons, named John C. 
Metsker as relief agent for their locality. On Jan. 28, 
1875, A. L. Pearsall of Ozawkie wrote that William Gish 
was receiving agent for the aid sent the Grasshopper Falls 
church. Feed for horses was especially desired. On 
March 30, 1875, the oldest church in Kansas — Cotton- 
wood — thru Lewis H. Flack, asked that donations be 
sent to Abraham Gilbert of Emporia. Various other 
churches and individuals addressed appeals to the Chris- 
tian Family Companion and Gospel Visitor. 

Local conditions in parts of southeastern Kansas ag- 
gravated the distress of that region. Land speculators, 
bent on forcing the poor people to mortgage their hold- 
ings, gave out and circulated the report that Neosho and 
Labette counties were in need of no relief, thus doing all 
they could to prevent the sending of food to the needy. 
The poor were compelled to press their case rather vigor- 
ously to get a hearing. Conditions were really very 
alarming, with a third of the people out of bread stuff and 


having no means for procuring any and the other two- 
thirds short of grain for work horses. Moreover, freight 
charges were excessive. For example, the destitute at 
Parsons had to pay on the boxes of clothing and provisions 
freight charges of $37.40 and upon a car load of corn 
(355 bushels) the sum of $132.50. In order to pay for 
another load of corn on the way they were forced to sell 
one hundred bushels of the first load, thus diminishing 
a much-needed supply. However, the railroad company 
refunded part of the freight thus paid. 

In organizing relief work few men did more than 
James L. Switzer of the White! Rock church. On Dec. 8, 
1874, he and James M. Bailey wrote a letter from the res- 
idence of J. S. Snyder of Brooklyn, Iowa, telling of their 
plans for securing and distributing relief. They were 
well equipped for their work, having credentials from 
their home church, the authorities of their home county, 
from Governor Osborn of Kansas and from Governor Car- 
penter of Iowa. They were able to announce while in 
Iowa that the Chicago and Northwestern would ship all 
supplies free to Kansas, and that the Chicago, Rock Is- 
land and Pacific would do the same, provided all goods 
were shipped to Lieutenant Governor E. S. Stover of Kan- 
sas, president of the Kansas Central Relief organization. 
The St. Joseph and Denver road accorded the privilege 
of shipping to Elder Allen Ives at Edgar, Nebraska. 

Separating at Brooklyn, Iowa, Switzer went East by 
the Southern route while Bailey visited and solicited aid 
among the churches of Northern Iowa, Illinois, and Indi- 
ana. An estimate was sent Allen Ives to the effect that 
the brotherhood would send one hundred carloads of 
goods for the sufferers. By Jan. 9, 1875, Switzer was at 
Meyersdale, Pa. 

A change of arrangements, however, was soon made. 
C. Forney, John Forney and C. L. Keim of Falls City, Neb- 
raska, thought it wise to relieve Elder Ives of a part of his 
burden, and so Keim, who was formerly treasurer for the 
Eastern district only now became general treasurer of the 
Relief Society of the Church of the Brethren for the whole 
grasshopper district in Western Kansas and Nebraska and 
Ives general treasurer for Mitchell, Jewell, Osborne, and 


Smith counties in Kansas, and Webster, Nuckolls, and 
Thayer in Nebraska. On Jan. 4, 1875, John Forney, on 
account of his becoming traveling evangelist, was relieved 
of his duties on the distributing committee. On Jan. 26, 
Keim made his first acknowledgment of funds received. 

Alarming conditions were reported in some localities. 
Republic county was canvassed and it was found that 
nine-tenths of the people had not enough food to sustain 
them for two months. Statements from other places indi- 
cated worse conditions. In all, it was estimated that in 
the grasshopper belt about 60,000 persons would need 
aid. In one section some women and children were found 
barefoot in January. 

Northern Illinois was in the front ranks of the givers to 
the relief of Kansas. Dec. 8,1874, a special district meet- 
ing was held at Cherry Grove, 111. Martin Meyers was 
elected moderator and M. M. Eshelman clerk. Steps were 
taken to organize permanently the work of relief, the or- 
ganization assuming the name "The Northern Illinois Re- 
lief Society of the Brethren". Of the permanent organi- 
zation the following were officers: John Rowland, Lan- 
ark, treasurer; M. M. Eshelman, Lanark, corresponding 
secretary ; Jacob Zuck and Daniel Kingery auditors. The 
sentiment prevailed that money be sent instead of grain. 
The following resolution was passed: "Resolved, That 
brethren John Forney, sr., S. C. Stump, and Christian For- 
ney of Falls City, Nebraska, act as a distributing commit- 
tee for the states of Kansas and Nebraska." A call being 
made for an offering, five hundred fifty-six dollars and 
twenty-seven cents was raised. Subsequent "first calls" 
raised this to $653.42. 

But for some unknown reason difficulty was experi- 
enced in getting to the needy the goods which were known 
to have been shipped. J. L. Switzer wrote March 9, that 
twenty carloads had been shipped but that only six had 
reached their destination. Elder Ives made a fruitless 
effort to find the lost goods. Thereupon the suggestion 
was made and acted upon to send no more relief in care of 
E. S. Stover, but to Allen Ives direct. On March 4, 1875, 
Switzer announced that Ives had made arrangements with 
the C. B. & Q. railroad for the free shipment of grain 
seed to Hastings, Nebraska. 


By March, Elder Ives had received about $4,300 in 
money in addition to what C. L. Keim had received. Of 
this amount the most was distributed outside the church 
membership. It was estimated that $4,000 would be 
needed to buy meat, flour, etc. for the membership. On 
Aug. 3 C. L. Keim rendered an account, showing that from 
Nov. 12, 1874, to May 1, 1875, he had received a total of 
$7,306.54. Of this amount the Cherry Grove church, Il- 
linois, gave the largest amount — over $1,300. The audi- 
tor's report shows that a balance of $2,127.73 was still in 
the treasurer's hands on Sept. 7. 

Several congregations put forth special efforts in rais- 
ing funds and other aid for Kansas. The Pilgrim quotes 
the Chicago Times as authority for the statement that the 
Cerro Gordo Brethren (Illinois) raised $1,600. The 
South Waterloo church, Iowa, and the Panora church 
gave liberally. The former sent one and one-half car- 
loads of supplies, including among other things 20,000 
pounds of flour and 900 pounds of boots, shoes and bed- 
ding. This was sent to Jewell county. Receiving $1,000 
from Daniel and David Vaniman of Virden, 111., with 
which to buy corn, they sent 357 bushels to Parsons and 
351 to Jewell county. The Panora church collected, with 
the aid of friends and neighbors, 1,000 bushels of grain 
and sent two carloads to Jewell county. 

And thus the work of relief was carried on. The 
story of it will never all be told. The Brethren did not 
seek advertisement for their deeds of charity and we must 
glean the few facts we have from what modest accounts 
appeared in the church periodicals. No doubt the whole 
experience reacted in a wholesome way upon the church. 

However, the frequency with which the sufferings of 
the Kansas Brethren were presented in the church publi- 
cations gave offence in certain quarters of the East. This 
feeling found expression in a pointed article in the Christ- 
ian Family Companion from the pen of Bishop D. P. Say- 
ler of Maryland. Inasmuch as this controversy occupied 
considerable space in the church paper and also illustrates 
a feeling shared by many others, both within and with- 
out the church, it will be presented rather in detail. 

The writer found himself out of sympathy with the 


emigration propaganda. Said he: "When people of the 
European continent emigrate to America I see some good 
reasons for it. But when well-to-do people in comfortable 
homes become so restless as to leave all their comforts 
to make their homes in the w r ilds of the new states, and 
their [there] live in 'dugouts' or sod-houses, in a temper- 
ature which settles down to 45 degrees below zero; and 
then urge these, with their isolation from Brethren and 
churches, etc., as a claim upon the sympathies and char- 
ity of their more contented friends, I can see no reason 
for it." Bro. Sayler emphasized that the grasshopper 
plague was a recurring phenomenon and that ordinary 
prudence on the part of those afflicted with the emigrat- 
ing fever would easily lead them to see the advisability 
of remaining in comfortable homes. He quoted from an 
article in the North American Review to prove that the 
climate of Kansas was hostile to agriculture, adding an 
intimation that the Brethren had been guilty of exagger- 
ating the privations incident to the grasshopper raid. His 
article concluded with a rather lengthy extract from the 
Chicago Tribune of Jan. 17, 1875, wherein it was appar- 
ently conclusively proved that far from being in want, 
Kansas was actually passing thru a period of prosperity. 1 
Elder Sayler had started something. His statements 
were soon challenged. One ardent defender of the emi- 
grants looked upon the movement West as the laudable 
fulfillment of the Divine injunction to "multiply and re- 
plenish the earth," for despite droughts, Nebraska and 
Kansas certainly constituted a part of the earth. To re- 
turn East would merely add to the miseries of an already 
overpopulated section. The spread of the Gospel by emi- 
gration constituted in the mind of this writer one of the 

1. See C. F. C. and G. V. 1S75, p. 88. "The reports of the suffering in Kansas 
from the ravages of grasshoppers have been greatly exaggerated. There has been 
proof enough to satisfy the public that there has been considerable suffering in some 
of the northwestern counties of Kansas but subsequent information shows the truth 
has been grossly exaggerated for the purpose of working upon the sympathies and 
pockets of charitable people in the Middle and Eastern as well as the Western States, 
and getting contributions for the relief of suffering Kansas. The country is literally 
swarming with beggars from that State who are magnifying the account of suffer- 
ing and collecting in proportion to the dimensions of their stories. 

"When the Legislature of Kansas, on the call of the Governor, met in extra ses- 
sion a short time ago, it authorized all the county boards to issue and ,6ell bonds 
for the relief of the people in each county who had suffered from the grasshopper 
scourge, so as to enable them to put in their winter crops and! obtain seed for their 


valid reasons for leaving the East for Kansas. He dis- 
counted the value of Bro. Sayler's witnesses, and after 
summarily dismissing" the Tribune article, thus sharply 
rebuked the elder: "I am astonished at Bro. Sayler for 
accepting such flimsy exaggerated testimony, and from 
such sources ; and he seems to endorse it and offers it to 
the brotherhood at large, notwithstanding the many wit- 
nesses of our own brethren who live in the immediate re- 
gion of destitution and who have testified to the actual 
suffering and probable starvation if no relief is obtained. 

It seems to be one of Brother Sayler's peculiarities 

to take one side or the other in matters of question and 
then to go to extremes on that side and make strong ef- 
forts to sustain his position." 

Elder S. S. Mohler of Warrensburg, Mo., in a vigor- 
ous article resented strongly the imputation of fraud 
which Elder Sayler had cast upon the Western Brethren. 
It is to be remembered that Western Missouri was also 
making appeals for help ; hence, Elder Mohler' s expres- 
sion of his feelings. In speaking of the Sayler article Bro. 
Mohler said: "If his [Sayler's] operations at such a dis- 
tance from where he lives are to be estimated by his emi- 
gration article, what a blessing it would be to confine his 
operations nigher home. The entire article is uncalled 
for, and is as to the matter of scarcity wide of the truth. 

I am certain that nothing short of a retraction of his 

article will restore to brother Sayler the Christian esteem 
in which he was held." 

Another correspondent would have the public know 
that nine out of every ten of the Kansas sufferers did not 
leave homes in the East as Bro. Sayler stated, for they had 

spring planting. Only one county (Reno) availed itself of this privilege, and that 
county, through the operation of a, ring of speculators, had already issued honds 
to an amount exceeding the selling value of property in the county. In addition to 
this it is a notorious fact that Kansas^ is full of cattle, fodder, grain and fruits of 
all kinds. Its farmers were never better off financially than now. Notwithstand- 
ing this, nothing has been done in the State toward relieving itself. The begging 
committees in the State itself, which is overflowing with products and which boasts 
its 3,000 miles of railroad and its 600,000 or 700,000 population, have not tarried 
at home but have set off on their mendicant pilgrimage through the East and the West 
and are now narrating their stories of destitution and obtaining provisions and 
money to the value of tens of thousands of dollars. The point to be impressed upon 
the public is that Kansas is abundantly able to take care of its sufferers without 
outside aid, and this point we feel warranted in asserting upon good authority, as 
up to this time she has done little or nothing because the people abroad have rushed 
en masse to succor of starving ( ?) Kansas." 


no homes to leave. They came West to secure homes. An- 
other called attention to the inconsistencies in Bro. Say- 
ler's statements. "If this is as the brother saith, an an- 
nual occurrence, from whence then, we would ask, comes 
this great abundance referred to by the brother?" C. 
Forney, a member of the distributing committee at Falls 
City, Nebraska, analyzed the Sayler article and showed 
the detrimental influence which it would exert on relief 
work. He pointed out that land agents were guilty of 
giving a rosy hue to conditions in order to sell their land. 

The Washington Creek church, Douglas county, took 
official action in regard to the article. Feb. 27, 1875, a 
church council was held and the matter was presented 
for consideration along with local business. A strong 
statement was framed and duly signed setting forth the 
fallacies of Elder Sayler's arguments and embodying 
these paragraphs: "We, the Washington Creek church, 
Kansas, respectfully and earnestly ask Brother Sayler to 
take back the items referred to in this article, through the 
Brethren's papers in which they were published. We fur- 
ther earnestly appeal to the brethren and sisters in gen- 
eral that have to spare. We make this second appeal to 
you for aid in behalf of the brethren and friends in Wash- 
ington Creek, which includes a territory of four counties, 
Johnson, Miami, Douglas and Shawnee." 

The personal feeling which characterized the contro- 
versy weighed heavily upon Elder Sayler, especially when 
taken along with other troubles which he was bearing. 
He confessed to having been deeply offended. His expla- 
nation was that his article was written merely as a cau- 
tion to emigrants. But he willingly forgave his critics, 
averring that he felt the brethren had misconstrued what 
he had written. In a pathetic vein he closed his concil- 
iatory letter asking that the Western Brethren should not 
count on his preaching for them the following winter. At 
the Annual Conference of 1875, an effort was made to 
have Bro. Sayler make a public confession for his having 
been at fault, but Western representatives were satisfied 
with what apology he had already written. So the mat- 
ter was dropped. Thus ended a very unpleasant and em- 
barrassing controversy. Brother Sayler later borrowed 


$100 and sent it to the Mineral Creek church, Mo., in re- 
sponse to a published request for a loan. 

In general, the period is one of slow growth. The 
church had to make a place for itself in a country where 
there were many ups and downs. But there were enough 
Brethren in Kansas who had confidence in the future of 
the state to preempt the religious situation, as it were, in 
certain localities and to constitute rallying points for the 
great numbers of easterners who were to come in 1878 
and thereafter. It is to that large movement that we next 




THE privations of grasshopper year did not long deter 
the Brethren from leaving the East for the plains of 
Kansas. The newspapers had in fact advertised the state 
sufficiently that the tide of immigration rose about 1878 
into unusually large proportions. Cheap and desirable 
land attracted many. Others came in response to calls 
from weak and struggling churches for help. Complaints 
from Southern Kansas that no ministers were coming to 
that section led several preachers to offer to respond to 
that needy field. One minister offered for sale a 100 acre 
farm two miles south of Lanark, Illinois, that he might 
come West. Some wanted to come to Kansas, but having 
no definite location in mind, asked for correspondence 
with members living in the state. This species of corre- 
spondence must have flourished. A writer in the Prim- 
itive Christian said : "As I have received so many letters 
from brethren asking for information about farms in Kan- 
sas, I have concluded to become an agent for the Breth- 
ren. I live in the western part of Bourbon county, where 
health and soil are good. There are also some Brethren 
here," etc. The same writer reported that the Brethren 
were thickly settled in Marmaton and Marion townships 
in Bourbon county. About forty members held member- 
ship in the church, all of them farmers and well to do ; in 
fact, some were said to be "rich". In various other parts 
of the state there were nuclei of congregations calling 
loudly for recruits from the East. Even Bunker Hill, out 
in Russell county, held forth inducements. In February 
Eld. Daniel Keller of Pennsylvania spent fifteen days 
along the Santa Fe and Kansas Pacific Railway in this 
locality looking for a site for a Brethren colony. The Rus- 
sell county church was fairly active, since there were 
twenty additions by baptism in the course of a year and 



numerous additions by letter as well. Douglas county, 
the next to oldest home of the Brethren in Kansas, wel- 
comed a large number of immigrants. 

It is interesting to notice the letters of the Kansas 
Bethren who were promoting their own particular locali- 
ties. The writers specialized in setting forth whatever 
merits the individual county possessed. Thus, Crawford 
county was preferable because of its good land, its quar- 
ries, its cheap coal, its timber, and the possibility of buy- 
ing out the original settlers on moderate terms. Brown 
county had 70,000 acres of good land at from six to seven 
dollars an acre, three to eight miles north of Sabetha and 
located on the St. Joseph and Denver Railway. Ness 
county was desirable because of 30 bushel an acre wheat 
and the absence of hardpan, alkali and the ague. It re- 
mained for Reno county to state its case rhetorically: 
"Churches of other denominations want you to come, non- 
professors plead for you to come, and we, a small band of 
members twelve in number, beg you to come. I fear it is 
neglect, and will neglect clear you at the day of ac- 
counts ?" 

On September 3, 1878, P. S. Myers of McVeytown,Pa., 
wrote in the Primitive Christian and Pilgrim: "I propose 
going to Kansas with an excursion on the 3rd of Septem- 
ber and I would desire that those members north and 
south of the Kansas Pacific railroad and from Preble 
north to Osborne, Mitchell, Cloud and Jewell counties, 
would give me their address ; we may have the opportun- 
ity to visit you. Address me at once, and brethren who 
wish to move west may find suitable associations, espe- 
cially if ministering brethren Parties can join the ex- 
cursion from Harrisburg to Altoona." It appears that sev- 
eral excursions headed West from McVeytown, Pa. 

The question of the cost of going West was often 
raised and brought a varying series of estimates. Every 
one seemed disposed to take exception to any carefully 
worked out list of expenses. Day laborers were advised 
not to come, since from $500 to $1,000 would be required 
to make a start. One writer apt at figures held that the 
costs were about as follows: 

U. S. fee at land office $ 18.00 

House 150.00 


Breaking plow and team 320.00 

Food for 15 months 200.00 

Clothing for family 40.00 

Seed wheat 80.00 

Harrow 20.00 

Horse feed 40.00 

Total $808.00 

One might reduce this by $100 if he is content to live 
in a dug-out. If the would-be settler could not afford a 
visit to Kansas he had better not move. 

Cases were cited, however, where men with small cap- 
ital made a success. A typical case is that of Joseph Gar- 
ber of Parsons, who said : "I came here ten years ago. I 
never spent over $200 outside of what I made in Kansas. 
I never lived in a dug-out, either. In fact, I never saw 
but one family living in a dug-out in Kansas, and I have 
traveled over a considerable portion of the eastern part 
of the state." He added that only one-fifth of the land- 
holders had mortgages, and that he thought no other state 
had opened with equal inducements. 

Kansas City was a good point from which to view the 
tide of population pouring into Kansas. J. S. Flory, writ- 
ing from that place (Nov. 20, 1878) says: "The emigra- 
tion [sic] to Kansas seems to continue with unceasing 
flow; the roads are lined with emigrant wagons and train 
after train crowded with emigrants on their way to find 
homes in the great West. We fear there is a day coming, 
not far distant, when sore disappointment will come to 
many and suffering and distress follow. " This warning 
note was destined to prove true, but no deterrent was 
strong enough to stay the increasing tide of those Kansas- 
bound. On a single day in March, 1879, over 3,000 set- 
tlers passed thru Kansas City, some Brethren being among 
them. John Hollinger, arriving at Russell, on March 7, 
said that west of Kansas City there were in his train four- 
teen coaches of immigrants and that five loads were left 
in that city. 

The Brethren were apparently everywhere well re- 
ceived. The local press was unsparing in commending 
their industry, honesty and determination. Thus, the 
Chetopa Advance said: "Mr. S. M. Burkett, now living in 


the north part of the county [Wilson] was down a day or 
two ago. He is now in correspondence with one or two 
hundred Dunkards who think of locating in this county. 
Some of them have already visited this section after trav- 
eling over several States and they express a decided pre- 
ference for Southern Kansas, and they are especially 
pleased with the southern portion of our county and say 
it is the garden spot of Kansas. The Dunkards are an 
excellent class of people and we would gladly welcome a 
colony to our county." 

The unusual high grade of intelligence so often ob- 
served in Kansas and evidenced by such measures as the 
prohibitory law, enacted in 1880, caused some writers to 
dilate at length upon this subject. Says one: "Ohio is 
far in the rear of Kansas in point of genuine, practical in- 
telligence. There are ten old fogies in Ohio to one in Kan- 
sas. This arises from the fact that old fogies do not mi- 
grate to the West, as a rule; secondly, an enterprising 
people will have good schools; thirdly, good schools will 
suppress ignorance and vice by force of public sentiment 
and execution of wise laws. I have myself been a citizen 
of Kansas seven years of my life and know from observa- 
tion that these things are facts not to be ignored." High 
praise, however, was intermingled with criticism by some 
who held that Kansas was calling forth too fulsome 
praise. Particularly did Brethren papers receive blame, 
inasmuch as they also continued frequent appeals for help 
for the needy of the stricken prairies. A paragraph from 
an anonymous letter stresses this point. "It seems to me 
that our Christian papers are to cite us to the heavenly 
land and not to Kansas and Nebraska. I have been read- 
ing so many inducements for persons to go West and in 
the same paper calls for help ; and when I am requested 
to solicit for help for a country that has been so highly 
praised I almost feel that these writers who have been 
praising the country ought to do it." It is impossible, of 
course, to tell with accuracy what effects such contrary 
views and advice had upon the public, but the incoming 
of members, augmented in part by the holding of the An- . 
nual Conference at Bismarck Grove (1883) seemed to jus- 
tify the editor of the Gospel Messenger in saying late in 


1883, "It now looks as though Kansas is going to become 
the stronghold of our people in the West." In the winter 
of 1879-1880 Elder H. B. Brumbaugh made a trip to Kan- 
sas and in the columns of the Primitive Christian wrote in 
his inimitable way of his experiences and impressions. 
Commenting on the church and environs at Peabody and 
having in mind the many evidences of prosperity which 
he saw, he exclaimed, "If such is a sample of starving and 
bleeding Kansas, we say 'let her bleed' !" 

Statistics compiled in 1879 show nearly sixty Breth- 
ren ministers in the state, thirty counties being repre- 
sented. The ministers were located as follows by coun- 
ties: Anderson, one; Bourbon, three; Brown, four; Cow- 
ley, two ; Coffey, one ; Crawford, two ; Douglas, six ; Elk, 
one; Cloud, one; Franklin, four; Jewell, five; Lyon, one; 
Lynn, one ; Miami, one ; Jefferson, seven ; Marion, one ; 
Montgomery, one ; Ness, one ; Harvey, one ; Neosho, one ; 
Osborne, three; Republic, two; Russell, two; Rice, one; 
Howard, one ; Sumner, one ; Washington, one ; Woodson, 
one; Wilson, two. 

It was in the late seventies and early eighties that the 
Brethren became interested in Central and Western Kan- 
sas. There were some members in these sections much ear- 
lier but they were few and scattered. There were some 
at Burr Oak, Jewell county, before grasshopper year, but 
this was a western outpost. There had been much itin- 
erant preaching done in various localities and by 1878, we 
find organizations effected in several now leading con- 
gregations. Then we hear the appeal for other members 
to move in, especially ministerial help. 

One of the conspicuous land agents of these times was 
Dr. P. R. Wrightsman late of South Bend, Indiana — one 
of the Brethren who had had some rather interesting ex- 
periences in the South during the Civil War. He made 
three prospecting trips to Kansas, and upon returning 
home from the third trip wrote in glowing terms of the 
health conditions of the state. He had spent about five 
weeks in Dickinson county, bought land there, and pre- 
pared to move in May, 1880. He said the "health belt" 
of Kansas extended across the state from north to south 
from 100 miles west of Kansas City to 300 miles, forming 


a belt 200 miles wide across the state. Invalids were 
urged to come to Kansas. "The church in Kansas," said 
he, "is more zealous and wide-awake than in many places 
East, under more favorable circumstances. I was made 
to rejoice to learn that most of our members in Kansas 
keep up family prayers." 

The advantages of various parts of the state were set 
forth in the church papers. Michael Moorhead of Great 
Bend, after having lived in Stafford countyfor eight years, 
said: "I could now [1884] locate over one hundred fam- 
ilies on first class land within a few miles of each other in 
the northwestern part of Stafford county and in the south- 
eastern part of Pawnee, an adjoining county, at a cost of 
from $3 to $5 per acre. The same quality of land, if im- 
proved, would sell in Illinois at from $50 to $100 per acre, 
and in Iowa and Missouri from $30 to $50 per acre." 

Rumors of a Brethren colony in Kansas were persis- 
tent. Editorially the Gospel Messenger of Jan. 8, 1884, 
said: "A party of capitalists from Staunton, Va., have 
purchased thirty-two thousand acres of land near Great 
Bend, Kansas, with a view to locating a colony of Breth- 
ren." Later information threw light on the subject and 
the editor explained that "the report concerning a colony 
of Brethren locating near Great Bend, Kansas, is a little 
incorrect. A number of men, some of them Brethren of 
Virginia, purchased a large body of land near the above 
mentioned place in Kansas and are selling it to any one 
who desires to locate there, members or non-members. J. 
H. Brady of Enterprise, Kan., is the agent." The head- 
quarters of this firm, known as the American Land Com- 
pany, were at Enterprise and sales were made of thou- 
sands of acres of western land at prices ranging from $8 
to $30 an acre. 

Kansas history presents a number of cases of coloniza- 
tion by various churches and nationalities. Thus, there 
are the German Russians in Russell, Rush, and Ellis coun- 
ties and the Mennonites in Reno, Harvey, Marion, and Mc- 
Pherson counties. While there are references made from 
time to time to a Brethren colony and while several may 
have been projected, but one actually materialized. It 
was known as the Maple Grove colony. Something should 
be said about this experiment. 


The Maple Grove enterprise was entered into with 
all the enthusiasm which characterizes anything so novel. 
Not only was Montgomery county, Iowa, stirred up but 
other congregations as well furnished emigrants for the 
western experiment. The Bethel church at Carleton, 
Nebraska, found itself depleted of members who were 
seized with the contagion. The movement was popular 
from the start. N. C. Workman of Sciola, Montgomery 
county, Iowa, was one of the leading spirits in the colony. 

With several other families Workman started from his 
home on March 19, 1879, and after a twenty-day journey 
halted his caravan at Norton, Kansas, on April 8. He 
found several members already there. The first church 
services were held on May 11. Many calls for preaching 
were received. By June 5 there were over thirty members 
on the site of the colony. Attorney J. R. Hamilton of Nor- 
ton was the locating agent and attorney for the colony. 
On October 4 and 5, 1879, the first love feast was held in 
Norton county. Fifty-three surrounded the tables and ten 
members were received on that occasion. 

Within a year the Maple Grove colony was in want. 
There was no rainfall and the crop planted in 1879 failed. 
In July, 1880, the colony was in narrow straits. Some 
members did not even have salt for corn bread. The East 
was urged to rush aid to the sufferers, the states east of 
Illinois being advised to send money on account of the ex- 
pense of shipping food stuffs. 

August brought no rain, hence the needs of the colon- 
ists waxed worse and worse. "Still more provisions and 
clothing or money are actually needed by our society to 
see us through. We now have the promise of free trans- 
portation of goods for the use of the society over the lines 
of the Illinois Central, Chicago and Northwestern, the 
Burlington, Cedar Rapids and Northern, and also the 

Hannibal and St. Joseph West of us we have the 

same promise over the Burlington and Missouri from At- 
chison to Arapahoe, Nebraska, and also over the Central 
Branch of the Union Pacific from Atchison to Logan, Kan- 

N. C. Workman describes conditions as follows on 
September 21, 1880: "We are left without anything in 


the way of eatables. Twenty-one counties are included in 
the district covered with the awful drouth; 15,263 fami- 
lies left without food There are 900 families in our 

county depending on the charities of the people for a liv- 
ing No other society in the counties named is doing 

so much in relieving the needy as the Maple Grove Soci- 
ety. The county central committee fails to get provisions, 
sends agent after agent, they come back discouraged and 
say The Dunkardsl are the only people that can get aid/ 
The railroads here in Kansas have broken their contract 
twice ; we are now arranging the third time with them." 
The free transportation arranged for was to cease Jan. 1, 

About the middle of October, 1880, a heavy snow fell, 
with a driving wind, and the ground froze hard. One cor- 
respondent remarked that this was very hard on roasting 
ears and watermelons, "which we have an abundance of 
just now." Help was still needed. In January, 1881, 
three carloads of relief and $40 in cash were reported as 
having been sent by the Brethren of Waterloo, Iowa. Na- 
perville and Lanark, Illinois, each sent a carload of sup- 
plies, and others whose names do not appear, helped re- 
lieve the needy. 

Notice was given by the Missouri Pacific railroad that 
after Jan. 31, 1881, it would transport no more goods or 
provisions free unless the Brethren would take charge of 
the relief work of the whole county, as the company 
would thereafter recognize but one society in a county. 
The Brethren feeling this to be too great a responsibility, 
asked that donations in the future be sent in cash only un- 
til further notice. 

By February, 1881, the crisis was past. N. C. Work- 
man wrote: "We believe by close living and strict econ- 
omy that we can get through until harvest time. We are 
also furnishing two carloads of seed wheat to be distri- 
buted among one hundred and thirty families, giving each 
family six bushels. The above mentioned families are all 
living outside the church colony and society. We have 
also divided other provisions to hundreds outside of the 
society, without regard to faith, creed, color, or politics." 

H. M. Blue, treasurer of the Maple Grove society, re- 


ported on March 1, 1881, that he had received $1,054.86 
in cash for the needy in that section. Later he reported 
$179.61 additional. 

Despite these reverses Maple Grove prospered. In 
1882 there were 140 members. A further account of the 
congregation is to be found in the list of sketches of local 
churches elsewhere in this book. 



(1886 to the present) 

THE year of 1886 may safely be taken as a most signif- 
icant date in the history of the Church of the Breth- 
ren in Kansas. By that time it had been demonstrated 
that the church really had a place in the state. Numerous 
strong congregations had been built up in the eastern and 
central parts of the state and homesteaders were rapidly 
taking up claims in the western part. Reference to the 
congregational sketches found elsewhere in this book will 
emphasize the fact that in 1886 or thereabouts the Breth- 
ren became somewhat of a factor in the development of 
western Kansas. They were beginning to spread out, as 
it were. In some instances it was to the lasting detriment 
of other Kansas churches whose membership waned cor- 
respondingly as new congregations sprang up further 
west, but it did usher into our story many churches whose 
history is eminently worthy and instructive. 

Several causes ministered to the dispersion of the 
church which took place around the date indicated. One 
was the general movement of the population. Western 
Kansas was in a "boom" in the early eighties. Eastern 
capitalists organized town-site companies and promoted 
immigration to western counties. The story of the defunct 
towns of western Kansas is one of blasted hopes and 
ruined fortunes. Many an ambitious town of that section 
breathed its last when the "boom" burst in the latter 
eighties, leaving but few marks to show that it ever ex- 
isted. While the Brethren did not as a rule live in towns, 
nevertheless, the march of population took them west. 

The continued series of good crops after "grasshop- 
per year" led, too, to the belief that possibly western Kan- 
sas would, as it became peopled, be as desirable for agri- 
culture as was the easternl part of the state, and the fact 
that homesteads were still obtainable led not a few to try 



some western county. Railroads also made special induce- 
ments. This was the period in our railroad history when 
it was the policy of many roads to build in excess of the 
needs of the country. In some instances they were prac- 
tically forced to construct roads in order to maintain their 
claim to land donated to their use by the Government but 
given upon the contingency that roads be constructed by 
a given time. Naturally, therefore, the railroads were 
especially anxious that a population should enter the 
country coincident with their roads. 

Just how much the desire to propagate the doctrines 
of the church had to do with western church settlements, 
is a question incapable of being answered. Certain it is, 
however, that much of the real missionary sentiment that 
has actuated the Brethren in Kansas has been generated 
in these western counties, where home missionary propa- 
ganda early took form and direction. Nowhere else has 
the problem of the isolated been so acute and so insistent. 
The very bigness of the field has made isolation in many 
instances inevitable, and the calls of the isolated for 
church services and the advertisement thereby gained has 
aided powerfully in attracting settlers to frontier congre- 

Stress should also be laid upon the Annual Confer- 
ences held in Kansas as agents in immigration. This was 
especially true of the Conference of 1883 at Bismarck 
Grove and of the Ottawa Conference of 1887. In fact, 
land agents took undue advantage of the coming of these 
Conferences to Kansas to ply their trade, and it was in 
these days that a feeling arose in the church hostile to the 
carrying on of so much secular traffic on the Conference 
grounds. It is perhaps not saying too much to say that 
from the year 1883 there was apparently a rebirth of in- 
terest in Kansas among the Brethren, and that there was 
also a marked rise thereafter in the Brethren population 
of the state. 

So thoroughly were the eastern Brethren interested in 
Kansas that special excursions were organized for their 
benefit. George L. McDonaugh took a large party of 
sight-seers over parts of Kansas and the Southwest im- 
mediately after the Conference of 1883. The pages of 


the Gospel Messenger were replete with stories of travel 
from the pens of gifted writers, some of them from the 
far eastern states. Looking back over the years it is in- 
teresting to note the things in which they were in those 
days interested. I trust that it will not constitute too 
great a digression to permit one of them to tell, rather at 
length, of his experiences in Kansas. May I then intro- 
duce at this juncture Professor W. J. Swigart, of Juniata 
College, who has since had the privilege of seeing Kansas 
many times? I quote in extenso from his "Vacation Wan- 
derings", No. 2, in the Gospel Messenger of November 30, 
1886 (page 739 ff.) : 

In my last letter I had arrived at Wellington, the county seat of 
Sumner county. This is a flourishing little city in an excellent section 
of country, and bids fair to become a place of considerable business. 
They have newspapers, street cars and no end to real estate agents. 
After a stop of a few hours at this place, I turned northward, passing 
through Belle Plaine, Mulvane, and Wichita. This last named place 
has a population of about twenty thousand, and had quite a city air 
about it. I did not stop, but judging from the number of railroads 
centering here, and the surface and soil of the surrounding country, 
together with the fact that it is a sort of distributing point for the In- 
dian Territory, and the South and West in general, it is likely to be- 
come the queen city of Central Kansas. Real estate has made almost 
fabulous advances during the last few years. 

From this point up through several counties, and surrounding the 
cities of Newton, Peabody, Hillsboro, and McPherson to Salina, is 
probably the "garden spot" of Kansas and I think it is the finest coun- 
try I ever saw. The land is quite well improved. The houses and 
barns are beginning to resemble Pennsylvania built, and a few years 
more will show a still greater change. 

The settlers went in there a few years ago, poor, took up land, 
or bought it at a low price and put everything they had into the land, 
stock, and implements to farm it. Their buildings and general ac- 
commodations were in pioneer order but now they mostly have their 
land paid for and are building better houses and barns and the time is 
not very far distant, when the country will appear to the traveler as 
do Lancaster and Lebanon counties in Pennsylvania. 

Land has gone up to several times fhe original price. The prices 
of farms, as nearly as I could determine, range from about $30 to $70 
per acre, according to improvement. It is not uncommon to find farm- 
ers worth from five to fifty thousand dollars, who came there with 
not more than that many hundreds, a few years ago. 

At Newton I was met by Brother L. Andes, who lives in the city 


and preaches in the congregation. Bro. Andes is the first person I 
met, that I had ever known or had seen, since I left Ohio. The hos- 
pitalities of his home were extended to me, and were indeed enjoyed, 
and I feel myself much indebted to him and his family. Bro. Andes 
is doing business in real estate, and has facilities for accommodating 
people, which are rather unusual, as he is a sort of middle-man be- 
tween purchaser and owner, with a view of protecting the buyer as 
well as the seller. He has land of all descriptions. 

Newton is a promising city, of about seven thousand inhabitants. 
There are some excellent buildings in the town, and everything indi- 
cates push and thrift. 

Through the kindness of Bro. Andes, I saw considerable of the 
country. He took me out to Bro. Wales' farm, some ten or twelve 
miles from town. We spent the afternoon pleasantly at this place. 
Sister Wales was sick and Bro. Wales had only recovered from sick- 
ness. I trust they are both well by this time. 

Bro. Wales has a fine farm of half a section, which is among the 
best improved in the country. He inquired about the "The Old Folks' 
Home," that had been mentioned some time ago in the Messenger, and 
signified his readiness to contribute, as soon as an opportunity is fur- 

This brings me to look up from my manuscript, and forget Kan- 
sas long enough to enquire, why this worthy project gets nothing more 
than cheap talk? I believe all that is necessary to get money, is to 
get enterprise in business legs, and there are plenty who will contri- 
bute. Indeed, I think there has been no project talked about in our 
church, that people seem to be more anxiously ready for than this. 

We had a delightful ride home in the evening; as the sun sank, 
apparently, down into the plains in the west, the round full moon 
issued, apparently, from the prairies in the east. The scene was mag- 
nificent. Looking over the level expanse here in the west, and re- 
membering the jagged and broken horizon of the east, the mind natur- 
ally thrilled with w r onder and praise toward Him who hath reared 
up the mountains and spread out the plains. 

On Sunday I went with Bro. Andes and wife again to the country. 
We went some eight or ten miles to a school-house — Stiner's school- 
house, I think, they called it — where they preach every four weeks. 
The house is small, but right comfortably built. It was comfortably 
filled with our own people and Mennonite and Amish neighbors. 
There were other preachers besides Bro. Andes, one of whom is the 
elder, but the name I cannot now recall — although if I were to meet 
him in the Sahara, I would recognize his face. The other was Bro. 
Widder from Wichita. 

This is the only place at which I preached in Kansas. We dined at 
Bro. Stiner's, a whole lot of us, and had a pleasant time talking, and 


listening to music. Bro. Stiner is more than ordinarily well fixed but 
he is not exactly satisfied. 

I spent most of two days at Peabody, a splendid little city in Mar- 
ion County. I met several brethren here in a grocery store, kept by 
Bro. Berkey and Bro. — (there, his name is gone from memory's roll, 
although the man is there to remain). I spent a night with Bro. Ber- 
key and enjoyed it. 

I also became a great debtor to J. J. Funk, Esq., of this place, who 
is in the real estate business, and secretary of the German Mennonite 
Loan Association, and who will give polite and prompt attention to 
people, and any business they may entrust to him. Through his cour- 
tesy, I saw the country about Peabody, and fine country it is, and had 
a ride over the land from Peabody to Hillsboro, on the other branch 
of the Santa Fe road, a distance of seventeen or eighteen miles. 

We rode through the settlement of the Russian Mennonites. These 
people occupy a large and fine scope of country. One township is 
almost entirely settled by them. They first adopted the community 
system, but it is gradually going back into individual ownership. They 
are industrious and economical, and in a short time those who came 
poor, will be rich land owners. 

As a religious body, the Mennonites have become divided, like our 
own, into several factions. The different bodies of them are mostly 
represented here and have churches built. They are an excellent class 
of people, and have some very intelligent persons among them. 

According to the schedule, I should have had ten minutes to 
change cars at McPherson, to go up to Salina. The train was behind 
time (the train consisted of one miserable passenger coach, and about 
twenty freight cars, running as "local freight"), but by hard running 
they went into McPherson almost in time. I had given up all hope of 
getting in on time, but when it came so close, my heart began to beat 
with the excitement of hope again. I got out on the steps, holding on 
to the car with one hand, and to two grip sacks with the other, my 
duster streaming in the wind like a flag of truce; ready to jump off 
and board the other train. But when I jumped off, the smoke of the 
other train was just settling about me, and a few rods up the road the 
train was pulling away, and seemed to be making fun of my disap- 

As there was no other train over the road until that time next 
day, and I was very anxious to get to my brother's, and out of the 100 
degrees of heat, it was a disappointment. The hotel drummers who 
flocked around, probably thought I was deaf and dumb, for I nei- 
ther looked at them, nor answered them. 

Competing railroads, when it comes to connecting with each 
other, are the least accommodating things on the planet; and when 1 
got to a cool place, and got my hat off, it took just a little praying to 


keep from getting mad — although I do not know just what good that 
would have done either for my case or the railroad. I concluded, 
however, that the severity of our disappointments is mostly due to our 
inordinate, and often unnecessary desires. I was soon reconciled to 
things, and musing in the "almosts" of life and eternity. 

The train in which I came, lay nearly an hour (it was an "ac- 
comodation" train), and I concluded to go on twenty miles farther to 
Little River, where I spent the night pleasantly with the family of 
Mr. Jordan, father-in-law of my co-worker, Prof. Brumbaugh. Next 
morning I came back to McPherson, and had plenty of time to look 
around and get on the four o'clock train, which I did not get on yes- 
terday. I went to Salina, and down to Solomon in time to miss con- 
nections on the branch road, and waited then till morning. 

I had fallen in with a couple of men down at McPherson who 
seemed to be going the same way, and when they got off at Minne- 
apolis, the hand shake and good-bye, would have indicated a long and 
fast friendship although we had never seen each other before, and 
never will again. 

About noon I reached Beloit, and was soon comfortably resting 
in the home of my brother. I had been longer on the road from Pea- 
body to Beloit, a distance of about 150 miles, than it requires to come 
from Beloit to Huntingdon, a distance of fourteen or fifteen hundred 
miles. They are getting several new roads through here, however, 
and the next trip I make, I shall expect to make in less time. 

Beloit is a fine little city in the Solomon Valley, and bids fair to 
be among the best cities in Northern Kansas. The Solomon Valley is 
a noble section of the country, somewhat more rolling as to the sur- 
face than some of the central counties, but the same richness of soil 
is here, and land is not yet as high in price, although advancing rap- 
idly. I saw considerable of the country about Beloit. I rode out sev- 
eral miles into the country one day, with my brother who is a physi- 
cian, to see a sick child. The people live in a small stone house, with 
kitchen, bed-room, dining-room and parlor all in one, and a ladder up 
to the garret, where, I presume, the children sleep. 

As I sat in the buggy and watched the little bareheaded boys skip 
around, free and happy as the birds, I thought in forty or fifty years 
from now some of these boys with sun-burnt tow-heads, bunged eyes 
from the bumble bee's sting, and "grass cuts" under their toes, who, 
with wild whoop and boyish bound, startle the prairie-chicken, will 
represent their State in the Nation's Congress, or better still, will 
teach and preach to those who will listen to the tales of buffalo hunts, 
and prairies of wild flowers in the pioneer days of their State, as we 
read and hear the Indian stories of eastern settlements now. 

Here in Beloit is Mr. A. P. Rupert, a former friend and school- 
mate who is in the insurance business. He had just gone East, to 


take his bride back with him, and I did not see him. I was sorry for 
this, but under the circumstances I should have been absent too, 
though all the school-mates I ever had were coming. He, and my bro- 
ther, and Mr. Munn, an attorney, are associated together in the land 
and loan business, and are doing a thriving business and take pleas- 
ure in showing people the country, and assisting them in any way to 
select land. 

One of the surprising things in Kansas is the plentifulness of 
stones. I did not expect to see any stone buildings, but in some sec- 
tions they are nearly all built of this material. There is a sort of 
limestone that is soft and can be sawn into shape, but, on exposure, 
it becomes hard. They can work the stones into almost any shape, 
and hundreds of them are used for posts to string wire fences on. 

Kansas is a great State, and the future will place it among the 
greatest in the great Union of States. 

I cannot close this article without some reference to the question 
of prohibition. I made careful inquiry in reference to the sentiment 
of the people. Of course I received different answers. Some believe 
it to be a failure, but more consider it a success. After the adoption 
of the prohibition amendment to the constitution and after one or two 
elections, there probably was a little falling off in the sentiment, but 
at the present time, I believe there is a more reliable sentiment in 
favor of prohibition than there has ever been. Men who, at the be- 
ginning, felt that it was an unnecessary interference with personal 
liberty, now recognize the justice of the principle and favor it. While 
the cause has probably lost some who werei in favor of it at- first, it 
has gained over many who were opposed to it at the start, and many 
who were wholly indifferent are now strong advocates of it. Some 
claim that there is more drinking done than ever, but summing all 
up that I learned on the subject, I conclude that there is no question 
that drinking, especially drunkenness is on the decrease. While this 
is noticeable at the present, we must not forget to take into account 
the effect that it will have on the generations that are to follow. When 
the records of the present become the annals of the past, and become 
rolled up in the scroll of history, among the brightest and proudest 
facts, to which the future citizen of the Sunflower State can point, 
will be that which sets forth her early acceptance into her constitu- 
tional powers the principle, that no man has a right to do as he 
pleases, if it interferes with the rights and happiness of his fellow- 
beings, and may God keep the grand State true to her pledge. 

The readers of the Messenger may wonder at the details of this 
letter, but they will please remember that this was my first visit to 
the West. You know when children see something new, they have no 
peace till everybody knows it — and nobody else has much peace till 
that is accomplished. And men are only boys grown tall, and some 
of us do not even get very tali. 


I could write yet of the excessive heat, the temperature rising 
one Sunday to 107 degrees, of the grand breeze that is constantly 
going, of the jack rabbits — two of which I saw — the forests of sun- 
flowers, and a score of other things that interested me. But I re- 
member that the Messenger has other contributors, and that there is 
supposed to be some limit to the patience of readers. 

On my return my ticket brought me over the Burlington route 
(C. B. & Q.) and of all the roads I was on I liked this one best. From 
Kansas City to Chicago without change of cars, comfortable reclining 
chairs without additional charge, and hotel cars with the best of 
table accommodations, and at reasonable rates. Altogether it is an 
excellent road. 

With little delay, I arrived at Huntingdon from Beloit, about 
fifty-two hours after starting, highly pleased with my trip, but more 
than willing to settle down among the hills of Huntingdon for 
another year's work. 

The year 1890 brought hardships to western Kansas. 
A failure of crops was general in both western Nebraska 
and Kansas. It seems from reliable testimony that Kan- 
sas suffered more than did Nebraska, for it sustained a 
greater loss of population, the Nebraskans being able in 
most cases to "rough it through", as they themselves ex- 
pressed it. There appears also to have been a disposition 
on the part of many to endure to the utmost, due to the un- 
kind treatment and intimidation employed against them 
on other occasions of crop shortage. Moreover, the laws 
relating to the holding of government claims were such 
that the poor would inevitably run great risks of losing 
their holdings should they leave the country. 

Northern Illinois, as usual, led off in the matter of pro- 
viding relief for the sufferers. On December 18, 1890, 
pursuant to a call for a special district meeting, a number 
of brethren and sisters met in the college at Mount Mor- 
ris and effected an organization for relief work. At this 
meeting D. E. Price was Moderator, J. G. Royer, Reading 
Clerk, and Joseph Amick and L. A. Plate, Writing Clerks. 
A district committee of three was appointed to have the 
work in general charge and D. R. Price of Oregon, 111., 
was appointed treasurer. D. E. Price was delegated to 
see to the distribution of funds to the needy. By January 
13, 1891, the district had raised slightly over one thou- 
sand dollars. This money was to be used in Kansas, Neb- 


raska, and Dakota. Before the end of January the dis- 
trict had raised nearly two thousand dollars. 

In February, 1891, B. B. Whitmer, at the request of 
D. L. Miller, went to Sherman county to look after the 
wants of the people of that vicinity. Writing from Good- 
land, he said : 

I find nearly all in want, but have so far found none in an abso- 
lutely suffering condition, as there seems to be a disposition on the 
part of all to share to the last. This is a most commendable feature 
in the hearts of this noble-spirited people. But this cannot last until 
another crop is raised, and many that now lend and divide what they 
have, will themselves need aid. My means at hand is limited, and I 
can only be governed by what is at my disposal. I had the best coun- 
sel I can get here, as a basis to work upon, and have relieved the pres- 
ent wants of about twenty-five families to the amount of from $5 to 
$15. Two days ago I was in Thomas county and did the same there, 
but these two localities cover but a small area of the great West. My 
distributions were to all the needy in and out of the church alike, and 

in this work I was aided by the counsel of good brethren I still 

hope that other State Districts will follow the noble example of the 
District of Northern Illinois, from whose bounties I am now supplying 

the needy and making glad hearts The State furnishes coal to the 


Writing in the Gospel Messenger of February 10, 
1891, of his trip west, D. L. Miller says: 

Quinter, Kansas, via Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Denver, Colo., was; 
our next stopping place. Here we met a number of our members, and 
the following committee was appointed to take charge of and distri- 
bute funds: Eld. John Ikenberry, Eld. B. B. Whitmer and Bro. J. B. 
Spurgeon. Help is needed in Thomas, Sherman, Phillips, Norton, and 
Cheyenne counties. In each of these counties there are organized 
churches of the Brethren, and distribution w T ill be made thru these or- 
ganizations. Bro. Whitmer started at once for the destitute locali- 
ties, and Brethren Ikenberry and Spurgeon will look after the needy 

ones nearer home At McPherson, Kansas, we were fortunate 

enough to find representatives from some fourteen churches attend- 
ing the Bible School in session at that place. A meeting of the breth- 
ren was called, and Eld. Enoch Eby, and Brethren W. A. Rose and 
A. F. Miller, all of Booth, Kansas, were appointed to take charge of, 
and see to, the distribution of money in Southwestern Kansas. 

By April, 1891, it became evident that the worst was 
over. The needs of the most of the Kansas people had 
been attended to and there was everywhere a pleasing 


prospect for crops. B. B. Whitmer, returning home about 
the middle of June, remarked that crops were very prom- 
ising and that the people were hopeful. It was a pity, 
however, that many were so poor that they were unable 
to procure seed wheat the fall before and for that reason 
the acreage was smaller than it should have been. The 
drouth of the preceding year was now followed by gen- 
erous rains that drenched the corn in June. 

The record showed that by May 2, 1891, there had 
gone thru the hands of D. L. Miller, for distribution to 
the needy in the West, the sum of $13,709.61. Add to 
this the various sums sent thru other sources and the 
grand total contributed by the Brethren will probably 
reach over twenty thousand dollars. The distribution 
of this aid was made with the very slightest expense. No 
account is available, of course, of the aid other than 

That help would be needed in the western part of 
Kansas in 1893 became known when there appeared a no- 
tice in the Gospel Messenger of October 10, signed by 
Enoch Eby and Daniel Vaniman, suggesting the need and 
announcing themselves as a distributing committee. 

George E. Studebaker, of McPherson, was appointed 
to canvass the situation and to be responsible for the dis- 
tribution of seed wheat to the farmers. He made a trip 
thru Haskell, Grant, Stanton, Morton, Stevens, and Sew- 
ard counties, and found conditions distressing. He found 
that much stock had been sent to eastern Kansas to win- 
ter, since there was not enough grass to put cattle in con- 
dition for the market. It was almost impossible to secure 
grain, due to the fact that the people had sold off their 
crop of last year to too close a margin. Speaking of Bro- 
ther Studebaker's work, the Gospel Messenger, quoting 
the Educator and Companion, said: 

Mr. Studebaker has delivered several car-loads of seed wheat 
himself, and he did the fair thing-. He will leave home again on Fri- 
day of this week (early in January, 1894) with a large amount of 
clothing, which has been donated. He will ship from this place 
42,500 pounds of flour and 9,500 pounds of corn meal, which he has 
purchased from the mill at this place. He will go into the needy dis- 
tricts and remain to see that a fair distribution is made. The Mis- 
sion Board of the church has arranged with him to spend a few 


months in the suffering districts, to preach for them, and see that 
they are provided with food and raiment. (See issue of January 16.) 

The summer of 1894 was a dry one. In June, wheat, 
rye and barley were reported in about the same condition 
as in 1893. Only those who had windmills were raising 
garden vegetables. B. B. Whitmer, writing for Quinter, 
said on June 14: 

Just what course to pursue does not seem clear to the minds of 
those who are subject to these perplexities and embarrassments. To 
"pull out" is simply to sacrifice all one has. To get money for the out- 
fit necessary to conduct the affairs of a farm and house is simply 
out of the question, and to leave it here and go farther East to stay, 
simply means to lose the very thing you will be compelled to have 
when you get East. This sacrifice of means would keep a family for 
a few years by practicing economy. The question then resolves itself 
into an absolute necessity, — to stay here and battle against all "draw- 
backs," trusting that a better time is awaiting this part of God's 
moral heritage and that this country, — now apparently a desert, — 
may yet be made to "blossom as the rose." Moreover, what can we do 
to better our present condition? Moving back East will only be a 
stimulus to those who have lands to let on shares to raise their al- 
ready exorbitant demands imposed upon the renter, and it will like- 
wise be an impetus to the renter to outbid his fellow-renter. Thus 
will be brought about a double disadvantage to crush the "renter" and 
still further enrich the owners. Furthermore, to return East would 
require aid after getting there in most cases, and we believe that if 
what would be needed by those returning could be proffered or sent to 
the most destitute here, it would be a saving all around in the end. 
When we take into consideration the thousands of poor families now in 
the East, and the crowded condition existing in and around the large 
cities, it would seem that the preponderance of weight would be in 
favor of staying here, and getting what help is absolutely necessary 

to assist the most destitute In conclusion I will say that emigrant 

wagons are passing through our town by the dozen every day, return- 
ing to, they know not where, and very few are in circumstances to 
better their condition. Let them go where they will, they will be com- 
pelled to share the charities of those with whom their lot may be cast. 

Western Kansas was destined, however, to experi- 
ence more drouth. On November 23, 1894, John F. Cline, 
wrote from Goodland, to the Gospel Messenger: 

The long-continued drouth has discouraged many of our dear 
brethren in the Fairview church, and some have gone east and some 
west, seeking other homes or employment. It has been so dry here for 
two years that in many places the grass has not made any growth. 


There are places where pastures would not support the stock at any 
time during the last year and in many places wheat never showed 
on the ground, and I have seen fields in which corn was planted last 
spring, and in September it had only three blades. There hasn't been 
a bushel of wheat, oats, or rye threshed in the county this year, and 
there is no seeding being done this fall. There are but few here that 
have seed or feed. 

It appears that Elder A. M. Dickey, of McPherson, had 
a general supervision of the distribution in the winter of 
1894-1895. In December, a carload of provisions came 
to Goodland from Pearl City, Illinois, with Samuel Stude- 
baker in charge. Another carload came from LaPlace, 
Illinois, and another from Warrensburg, Missouri. The 
one from LaPlace was sent to Colby and the one from 
Warrensburg to Goodland. Brother Cline was sent by 
Elder Dickey to look over the field of destitution and in 
describing it says: 

I went to Thomas county and found it a great deal worse than 
what I thought, from what I could hear in and around the towns. 
When I traveled around in the country it was heartrending to see 
young and old half clad, shivering over a lukewarm stove, their only 
fuel damp manure. Some said they couldn't half cook what they had, 
and I was fully convinced of the fact. What these poor people have 
had to endure through this extremely cold, stormy weather, God only 

After telling of the arrival of the carload of provisions 
from LaPlace already mentioned, Bro. Cline continues: 

As soon as we could organize we proceeded to distribute. The 
number of families reached in the three counties — Thomas, Rawlins, 
and Sheridan — was nearly two hundred fifty and nearly eleven hun- 
dred souls were made to rejoice, and not a few despondent souls gave 
us their thanks with tears running over their furrowed cheeks. 

The goods from Warrensburg, Mo. were distributed 
in Cheyenne, Sherman, and Wallace counties. The num- 
ber reached here was not as large as that at Colby, ag- 
gregating possibly two hundred twenty-five families — 
about one thousand persons. This distribution took place 
early in February. A carload of provisions from Lanark, 
111., arrived at Phillipsburg, on February 4, and was dis- 
tributed by J. W. Jarboe and Henry Brubaker. About 
four hundred twenty-five persons received aid from this 
car. A rain in this locality late in February put the soil 


in good condition, but there was a marked shortage of 
seed for sowing. A carload of grain made up at Mount 
Morris, 111., was distributed by Bro. Cline in Rawlins and 
Cheyenne counties, Kansas, and in Hitchcock, Dundy, and 
Chase counties, Nebraska. Oats and corn were in the 
car. In the distribution of this carload of grain Bro. Cline 
spent ten days and traveled three hundred thirty-two 
miles. Repeated showers now came and also more grain 
from the East. W. L. Bingaman of LaPlace, 111., came to 
Colby late in April with another carload of seed corn. He, 
with Bro. Cline, distributed the seed. The total amount 
was three hundred seventy-four and one-half bushels, 
which would plant, it was estimated, four thousand acres 
of land. This would produce, with only a half crop, 
some ninety thousand bushels of corn. In all Bro. Cline 
distributed, or helped to distribute, in this crisis, seven 
carloads of supplies, and he was much pleased to hear 
again and again this comment: "There has been no class 
or sect that have handled contributions and have given 
satisfaction as you men have given." 

During the late spring and summer of 1895 the rains 
came and vegetation came forth again. The drouth had 
lasted for two years and six months, and it probably was 
the last of the prolonged dry spells for which western 
Kansas got so bad a name. 


(1SS3, 1887, 1S96, 1917) 

ALREADY in 1881 it was noised abroad that Kansas 
would welcome the Annual Conference within her 
borders. Several influential Brethren urged a Western 
Conference and their suggestions of a location usually 
pointed to Kansas. In the June 7 issue of the Brethren at 
Work, Martin Neher of Monmouth, Kan., stated that the 
Conference of Southern Kansas favored having the Con- 
ference of 1882 in the state, but had not as yet consulted 
the local churches of the district. Then he set forth the 
inducements offered by the management of Bismarck 
Grove at Lawrence. This park was owned by the Kansas 
Pacific Railroad Company, which offered it with all its 
conveniences free to the Brethren for the 1882 Confer- 

Southern Kansas had thus taken such action that the 
Brethren at Work, speaking editorially, said : "The South- 
ern District of Kansas will call for the A. M. of 1883 to 
be held at Bismarck Grove, Kansas. By the way, we 
would like to attend an Annual Meeting in Kansas." The 
Conference of Northern Kansas (1881) fell in with the 
suggestion of cooperating with its neighbor to the South 
and proposed Bismarck Grove for the Conference of 1883. 

Pursuant to a, call delegates from various churches of 
Northeastern Kansas, Southern Kansas, Nebraska and 
Southern Missouri met at the Pleasant Grove church on 
October 20, 1882, to effect an organization of the com- 
mittee of arrangements. Of this meeting S. S. Mohler was 
Chairman and M. M. Eshelman Secretary. The commit- 
tee of arrangements was constituted as follows : S. S. Moh- 
ler, Cornelia, Mo.; J. C. Metsker, Bond, Kan.; M. M. Esh- 
elman, Washington, Kan. ; John Forney, Abilene, Kan. ; 
Martin Meyers, Morrill, Kan.; George Myers, Wade 
Branch, Kan. When the committee met at the home of 



Samuel Baker (Oct. 21) it elected S. S. Mohler Chairman, 
J. C. Metsker Treasurer, and M. M. Eshelman Secretary. 
Whereupon it adjourned to meet at Lawrence on Jan. 5, 
1883. The question of finance was settled by one bro- 
ther's agreeing to advance $1,000 without interest for the 
use of the committee and another's offering $5,000 for 
free use. 

The Conference was in session on May 11. The num- 
ber of delegates was about half of the number of mem- 
bers who attended. There were two hundred seventy in 
the delegate body. Bishop Enoch Eby was Moderator 
and Bishop John Wise Reading Clerk. Several matters 
pertaining to discipline and doctrine came before the Con- 
ference. The question of admitting to church fellowship 
all those who had been received into other denominations 
by trine immersion was hotly contested. A negative an- 
swer was placed to an effort to admit such persons. The 
Conference also placed itself against any effort to retain 
or secure titles to church houses by means of law-suits, 
this query, of course, having grown out of the experience 
with the Old Order and Progressive factions. A vexing 
question was presented in the case of the Bowmanites, a 
few scattered members in Tennessee who had adhered to 
John A. Bowman during the Civil War. The Conference 
of 1883 decided not to restore the Bowmanites. Bishop 
S. H. Bashor, one of the leaders of the Progressive move- 
ment, was formally disfellowshiped because of schis- 
matic articles and attacks. A forward step was taken 
in the appointment of a committee of five to form a plan 
for collecting funds for the purpose of erecting churches. 
Two Kansans of later years were placed on this commit- 
tee, namely, Daniel Vaniman and Enoch Eby. 

The Conference was a decided success. Many had 
thought that the Grove might be too worldly a place to 
be conducive to a spiritual meeting but this fear seemed 
groundless. There were from 8,000 to 10,000 people 
present at the Conference. The attendance outside the 
membership was small. This was probably due to the 
fact that it was generally understood by the public that 
the meeting was strictly a business meeting for the mem- 
bership. The amount of business was small. One en- 


couraging feature of the Conference was the inclination 
to bring before it subjects of a more practical and import- 
ant character. Elder Quinter said : "The meeting at Bis- 
marck Grove was more like our Annual Meetings of for- 
mer years, when peace, love and harmony reigned among 
us, than such meetings for the last few years have been." 
Elder H. B. Brumbaugh said: "On the whole the meet- 
ing was one of the most pleasant and unanimous that we 
ever attended, and a most excellent spirit was manifested 
on the part of all. Especially must we say this to the hon- 
or of the older Brethren who manifested an unusual 
amount of good judgment during the meeting and set an 
example that it would be well for some of us younger 
brethren to follow. " 

Soon after the Bismarck Grove Conference it was felt 
that the large gathering should come to Kansas again. 
This desire was by no means confined to members in the 
state of Kansas alone. In 1885, the Gospel Messenger, 
speaking editorially, said: "We should like to see the 
meeting held in Kansas again. It is the geographical cen- 
ter of the United States and at the present rate of increase 
it will contain at no distant day, more of our brethren 
than any other Western state." 

Both the Northeastern and Southern districts asked 
that the Conference of 1887 be held in Forest Park at Ot- 
tawa. The city of Ottawa offered liberal accommodations 
should the Conference of that year be held in Ottawa. On 
October 16, 1886, delegates from the Northeastern and 
Southern districts of Kansas met in Ottawa to appoint a 
committee of arrangements for the approaching Confer- 
ence. The Southern Kansas Railroad granted these dele- 
gates one-fare rates. The committee chosen consisted of 
George Myers, of Paola, Chairman ; I. H. Crist, of Olathe, 
Secretary; J. C. Metsker, of Lawrence, Treasurer; Wash- 
ington Wyland, of Fredonia, and Thomas G. Winey, of 

On Saturday, May 28, 1887, there were three thou- 
sand people on the Conference grounds at Ottawa, but 
Sunday swelled the crowd to ten thousand. The business 
session occurred on May 31. Bishop Enoch Eby, of Kan- 
sas, was Moderator. Several items of business import- 


ance came up. A committee of four was appointed to 
present a plan for an Old Folks' Home. A request was 
presented by Northern Illinois that missionaries be sent 
to the Mormons of Utah. This matter was referred to the 
General Mission Board. Owing to the fact that several 
demands were made that the management and ownership 
of the Gospel Messenger be changed, a committee of five 
was appointed to investigate the matter. Three Kansans 
found places on this committee — M. M. Eshelman, Dan- 
iel Vaniman, and Enoch Eby. 

As far as the history of the church in Kansas is con- 
cerned one of the most important steps taken by the Con- 
ference was the instigation of the plan which culminated 
in the founding of McPherson College. The details of the 
college project are told in the chapter on McPherson Col- 
lege and need not be set forth here. 

A Pennsylvanian rather vigorously expressed his im- 
pressions of the Kansas situation as viewed at the Ottawa 
Conference. First of all, he remarks on the general ef- 
fectiveness of the prohibitory law of the state. For one, 
he was convinced that "prohibition does prohibit." He 
found the state "booming" and the universal conversation 
among the Brethren had to do with buying and selling. 
He found a tendency on the part of other people to flat- 
ter the Brethren. In closing his remarks he commented 
upon and commended in high terms the liberality of the 
Kansas people. 

Two successful Annual Conferences in Kansas nat- 
urally called for a third. Accordingly, in 1896 Ottawa 
was for the second time chosen for the location. The 
committee of arrangements consisted of J. D. Trostle, of 
Navarre, Chairman; I. H. Crist, Olathe, Secretary; M. W. 
Metsker, of Lawrence, Treasurer; William Davis, of Mor- 
rill, and Thomas G. Winey, of Lawrence. These men were 
chosen at a special District Conference held in Northeast- 
ern Kansas on August 16, 1895. The railroad companies 
furnished the lumber for the temporary buildings of the 
Annual Conference and donated three hundred dollars 
toward the meeting. 

Few incidents of the Conference are worthy of notice. 
It opened with an attendance of three thousand seven hun- 


dred people. A prominent church leader said he had 
never seen a Conference attended by so few non-members, 
nor one to which the ministers of other churches paid so 
little attention. It was purely a members' meeting from 
beginning to end. There were two hundred fifty-two del- 
egates, consisting of ninety-four bishops, one hundred 
twenty-one ministers, twenty-five deacons, and twelve 
laymen. Southwestern Kansas sent the only lady dele- 
gate — Mrs. Lizzie Ebbert, of Kingman. The officers of 
the Conference were D. E. Price, of Illinois, Moderator; 
L. H. Dickey, of Ohio, Reading Clerk; and D. L. Miller, of 
Illinois, Writing Clerk. 

Coming as it did immediately after a series of "hard 
years" in Kansas, this Conference served to introduce the 
Brethren to the renewed prosperity of the state. Since 
this time there have been no general failures of crops. 

The fourth Conference to be held in Kansas met in 
Wichita in June, 1917. The officers were H. C. Early, of 
Virginia, Moderator; Otho Winger, of Indiana, Reading 
Clerk; and J. J. Yoder, of McPherson, Kansas, Writing 
Clerk. The spacious Forum of the city was used for all 
the main sessions of the gathering. The districts of the 
church were represented by fifty-five delegates and the 
local churches by four hundred thirty-five delegates. 

The Wichita Conference did a considerable volume of 
business in its two-day session. The whole ministerial 
question, which, in all its various phases, had been coming 
before Conference for many years, was at last disposed of. 
The three degrees of the ministry, long the rule of the 
church, were reduced to two, and provision was made that 
a young man might offer himself as a volunteer for the 
ministry. The system of ministerial boards was also es- 
tablished. The committee which had prepared a report 
looking toward the elimination of the superfluous com- 
mittees of the church made its report, with the result that 
a few committees were discontinued. In response to many 
calls for better music in the churches, Conference ap- 
pointed a music committee of three members. Urgent 
speeches were made for the extension of the missionary 
endeavor to the Southern states, with the result that the 
General Mission Board was authorized to study the ques- 


tion, A committee of three was appointed to revise the 
minutes of the Annual Conference. Missionaries ap- 
pointed by the Conference were: To China, Byron M. 
Flory and wife, Norman A. Seese and wife, Walter J. 
Heisey and wife, Edna Flory, Myrtle Pollock, Mary 
Schaeffer, and Grace Clapper; to India, Howard Alley 
and wife, Lillian Grisso, Ella Ebbert, and Annetta Mow. 
It has been the hope of the Brethren in Kansas that a 
suitable location might be found within the state to which 
the Conference might be invited when that gathering is 
held in this section of the United States, but up to the 
present no such location has been found. 


Mcpherson college (iss7-i92i) 

IN 1883, when the Annual Conference was held at Bis- 
marck Grove, near Lawrence, Kansas, Professor S. Z. 
Sharp, then a member of the faculty of Mount Morris Col- 
lege, and a pioneer in school work among the Brethren, 
applied to the Committee of Arrangements of that gath- 
ering for a place to hold an educational meeting. After 
some persuasion on his part the request was granted, and 
at the meeting Professor Sharp was chosen chairman and 
Bishop H. B. Brumbaugh, of Juniata College, Pennsyl- 
vania, secretary. Several teachers and trustees from 
both Mount Morris and Juniata colleges were present. 
The business of this first educational meeting consisted 
of the discussion of such problems as usually come to pio- 
neer colleges, and a plan was adopted to cultivate fra- 
ternal feeling and a spirit of comity among the colleges 
of the church. 

Shortly after this the Rock Island railroad decided 
upon making Herington, in Dickinson county, the center 
of their system in Kansas. Thinking that this city might 
prove to be a location favorable for a college, Professor 
Sharp bought some land near the town and made known 
to Mr. Herington, the promoter of the town, his plan of 
establishing a college at that place. Mr. Herington was 
so well pleased with the idea that he offered to donate 
thirty thousand dollars toward the project and to furnish 
a beautiful campus on a fine elevated location. He also 
took pains to publish this movement as an advertisement 
in favor of his town. 

Immediately other towns offered inducements to the 
Brethren. Bishop J. S. Mohler, a very influential leader, 
championed the cause of Morrill. Bishop M. M. Eshel- 
man, of Belleville, did the same thing for his home town. 
On March 1, 1887, J. A. Trimmer, of Quinter, wrote in the 
Gospel Messenger, "Bro. G. G. Lehmer is working to es- 



tablish a Brethren's Normal School at this place, and I 
think, under his management, there is no such thing as 
fail. He is at present superintendent of public instruction 
for Gove county." Fredonia was mentioned as a possible 
location by Bishop M. T. Baer, of Bourbon county, while 
Bishop Enoch Eby suggested Hutchinson. Of this situa- 
tion Professor Sharp wrote: "The greatest difficulty I 
found in the* way of a good school being established in 
Kansas or Nebraska by the Brethren is that each com- 
munity wants a school in its own town. This divides the 
educational interest into more than twenty fragments and 
each one is too weak to live long.'' 

This spirit of division was condemned in an able ar- 
ticle in the Gospel Messenger from the pen of M. M. Esh- 
elman. In connection with a mention of the various 
school proposals made by such places as Morrill, Chanute, 
Ottawa, Herington, and Quinter, he asked, "Can the 
Brethren support five schools west of the Missouri Riv- 
er?'' He pled that all local and selfish interests be laid 
aside and that all parties concentrate on one good loca- 
tion. Editorially the paper agreed with this suggestion. 
G. G. Lehmer, replying a while later, agreed with the idea 
and suggested that several committees get their proposals 
in mind and meet in an educational session at the ap- 
proaching Ottawa Annual Conference. (1887.) On May 
17, 1887, Professor Sharp was able to announce that ar- 
rangements had been perfected for such a meeting as that 
suggested by Professor Lehmer. It was to be held on the 
Conference grounds, on Monday, May 30. 

That educational sentiment had grown amazingly in 
the church since 1883, was evidenced by the presence of 
some fifteen hundred members at this educational meet- 
ing. Much interest was manifested. Professor Sharp 
was elected chairman. James Quinter made a notable ad- 
dress, and principals of the various Brethren schools made 
reports. The chief item of business which came before 
the meeting, however, was the matter of the location of 
a college to be owned and controlled by the districts of 
the state of Kansas. The spokesmen for the different 
competing towns were present to speak in behalf of their 
projects. A motion carried that a committee be ap- 


pointed to investigate all the inducements offered, and to 
locate a college. In order to harmonize all contending 
elements, the chairman appointed on that committee a 
member from each of the locations proposed: namely, 
Enoch Eby, M. M. Eshelman, J. S. Mohler, Moses T. Baer, 
and George G. Lehmer. Professor Sharp was added as 
an advisory member. The committee was to enter upon 
its work at once. Meanwhile, Abilene and Winfield had 
entered the race for the college. At McPherson a col- 
lege building association was formed and chartered and 
an agent was sent to accompany the committee on its tour 
of investigation, with the plan of outbidding each compet- 

The locating committee organized by choosing Enoch 
Eby chairman and M. M. Eshelman secretary. Numerous 
Kansas towns bestirred themselves to secure the location. 
It was reported that Ottawa had seventy-five thousand 
dollars as an attraction. Professor Sharp started for Kan- 
sas on July 5, 1887. In Kansas City he was joined by J. 
S. Mohler and at Junction City by M. M. Eshelman. 
Other members later joined the party and a visit was 
made to each of the towns which had propositions to of- 
fer. The towns visited in order were Quinter, Great Bend, 
McPherson, Newton, Wellington, Winfield, Parsons, Ot- 
tawa, Morrill, Belleville, Abilene, Navarre, Herington, 
and Fredonia. On August 8, 1887, the final meeting of 
the committee was held in Junction City. Parsons was 
one of the first towns to make a liberal offer. On August 
23, 1887, the committee, thru the Gospel Messenger, made 
the announcement that McPherson had been selected as 
the site of the new college. Six reasons were assigned for 
the choice: viz., a good water supply, a community of 
Brethren near at hand, written promises by responsible 
parties, a central location, good railroads, a temperate 
community. The committee was unanimous on every 
point. The offer made by McPherson consisted of a gift 
of a ten acre campus and of an agreement to lay off in 
lots one hundred fifty acres of land near the town, to sell 
the lots, and from the proceeds to pay the college the sum 
of fifty-six thousand dollars, all of which except six thou- 
sand dollars was to be invested in buildings. The name 


selected for the institution by the committee was "Mc- 
Pherson College and Industrial Institute.'' 

The charter of the institution recites the fact that the 
"McPherson College and Industrial Institute" was 
founded for the purpose of maintaining an institution of 
learning in harmony with the principles of the German 
Baptist Brethren (Tunkers) and as far as practicable it 
should be under the general control of the district Con- 
ferences in Kansas. The institution is empowered to 
maintain a department of Liberal Arts, a commercial de- 
partment, an industrial department, a normal department, 
and a department of the Bible. The term of the corpora- 
tion is nine hundred ninety-nine years. The value of the 
goods, chattels, lands, rights, and credits of the corpora- 
tion is set at one hundred thousand dollars. The by-laws 
assert that, so far as possible, the instructors are to be 
members of the Church of the Brethren and well quali- 
fied for their respective places. The discipline of the 
church is to be used. The use of tobacco is forbidden. 
Instructors who are not members of the church must sub- 
scribe to the following: 

1. Faithfully to discharge their duties as teachers. 

2. To maintain in apparel, general life, and character 
the principles of the Gospel as defined by the Annual Con- 
ference. % 

3. To give no aid or encouragement to those who 
strive to subvert the Gospel or the order of the church. 

The care and management of the college was vested 
by the by-laws in a Board of Trustees, a Board of Instruc- 
tors, and a Board of Visitors. The first Board of Trus- 
tees consisted of M. M. Eshelman, M. T. Baer, J. S. Moh- 
ler, G. G. Lehmer, Percy J. Trostle, and Christian Hope. 
Provision was made whereby direct control by the church 
might come about. Section two of article three of the 
by-laws reads: "As soon as the District Conferences of 
the German Baptist Church in the state of Kansas or any 
of the said conferences shall agree to assume its share 
of the control and supervision of the college, they shall 
respectively be authorized each to elect two trustees an- 
nually." For various reasons the control here contem- 
plated was not assumed until 1913, when the ten districts 


of Kansas, Nebraska, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Pan- 
handle of Texas, Western Colorado and Utah, elected one 
member each to the Board of Trustees, thus assuming di- 
rect control. The district in which the college is located, 
however, has five additional trustees who serve as an ex- 

s. z. SHARP 





ecutive committee of the Board. In 1918, Idaho elected 
a trustee and in 1919 the Alumni Association of the col- 
lege was granted the privilege of electing a member to the 

Until this final settlement of the control of the college 
it was run in a rather indirect manner. Each person who 
had given at least one hundred dollars to the college was 
entitled to one vote at the annual meeting of the voters. 
An additional vote was allowed for each other hundred 
dollars donated. The annual voters' meeting elected the 
trustees, who in turn leased the college for a term of years 
to an association of men known as the management. The 
management ran the institution on their own financial re- 
sponsibility. They paid the teachers' salaries and kept 
up the property, expecting, of course, to make something 
for the risk incurred. This was not always possible. In 


fact, the plan proved so unsatisfactory that eventually 
it was rather hard to get men to undertake the risk. Un- 
told sacrifices were made by the teachers under this re- 
gime, and the wonder is that they staid by the task so 
faithfully as they did. But this indirect control was the 
only one possible in a day when the church had not yet 
been educated up to the point of being willing to assume 
serious obligations in the" educational field. It was a 
transition stage in our school development and the pro- 
gress made under it must not be disparaged. 

One of the first steps toward the actual establishment 
of the college was the organization of the McPherson Col- 
lege Building Association, a corporation of citizens and 
business men of McPherson. According to the by-laws of 
this association there were to be seven directors. The 
first directorate was composed of F. B. Webster, A. Bass, 
C. August Heggelund, E. C. Heggelund, S. G. Mead, L. H. 
Roberts and O. Heggelund. On August 30, 1887, it was 
voted to permit A. Bass and Company to have the exclus- 
ive management of the sale of all lots belonging to the 
association. Four men were to be employed to travel and 
sell lots. Extra allowance was to be made if necessary to 
these agents to induce excursions to come to McPherson. 
As a stepping stone toward placing the institution under 
Brethren control the directorate was reduced, after some 
opposition, to three (May 31, 1889) . Under this new plan 
E. C. Heggelund became President of the association, C. 
August Heggelund Vice President, and A. Bass Secretary. 

It was expected that school would open its doors in 
October, 1887, but a telegram to D. L. Miller was pub- 
lished in the Gospel Messenger of October 25, 1887, to the 
effect that the opening was postponed until room was pro- 
vided. The college opened its doors for the first time on 
September 5, 1888, with seventy students in attendance. 
It would be interesting to reproduce the names of the first 
students of the college, but space forbids. It is probable 
that Elder S. W. Funk, of California, was the very first 
student to enroll. Running thru the lists of students from 
1888 to 1893, I copy the names of those of more or less 
prominence in the future in the history of either the col- 
lege or the church. Many friends will recognize such 


names as Ratie Bower, Laura S. Peck, Susie Slusher, Sara 
Ulrey, Hattie Yoder, Mary Yoder, J. H. Berkeybile, David 
Betts, A. L. Boyd, J. W. Cline, S. W. Funk, D.P.Hutchison, 
John Shirky, F. A. Vaniman, Jackson Minnick, Joseph J. 
Yoder, George Lauver, Samuel J. Miller, John E. Mohler, 
James M. Mohler, D. L. Mohler, E. A. Markey, Jesse D. 
Mohler, Moses J. Mishler, Chas. H. Slifer, Alice S. Vani- 
man, Ezra Mohler, Theodore Sharp, Jacob S. Dell, Mo- 
dena Hutchison, F. E. Marchand, Clarence Watkins, By- 
ron Talhelm, J. Z. Gilbert, E. B. Hoff, J. R. Pitzer, G. E. 
Shirky, A. A. Sutter, J. J. Flickinger, George D. Kuns, 
Bertha Ryan, J. D. Clear, L. D. Ikenberry, Laura Harsh- 
barger, W. P. Bosserman, W. C. Heaston, C. E. Kemp. 
The first twenty-one names of the above list are taken 
from the first year's catalog. The freshman class of 1889- 
1890 was made of E. A. Markey, G. A. Tull, and Chaun- 
cey Vaniman. 

The location of the college at McPherson did not ex- 
actly suit all concerned. Accordingly, the Advisory Com- 
mittee, consisting of Enoch Eby, J. D. Trostle, and B. B. 
Whitmer, met at McPherson on December 13, 1887, to 
investigate the course pursued by the locating committee, 
which had been so severely criticized. Allowed free ac- 
cess to all the papers of that committee, the majority re- 
port spoke in high terms of commendation, agreeing to 
serve as advisors "as long as the present Board of Trus- 
tees continue their present manner of work." Brother 
Eby dissented slightly from the majority report but ap- 
proved it upon conditions. 

But there were grievances in various places and the 
management undertook the straightening out of all mis- 
understandings. Accordingly, those Brethren directly 
connected with the college united in asking the Annual 
Conference to send a committee to investigate the whole 
career of the institution. A notice appeared in the Gos- 
pel Messenger of June 17, 1890, stating that such com- 
mitte had already been asked for. This notice was signed 
by F. H. Bradley, Daniel Vaniman, Geo. E. Studebaker, 
J. H. Bosserman, G. G. Lehmer, and A. W. Vaniman. The 
committee appointed by Conference consisted of Enoch 
Eby, John Wise, D. E. Price, Jacob Witmore, and D. L. 


Miller. Elder Eby notified all interested parties to ap- 
pear before the committee on July 15 or to send their 
grievances with corroborating evidence. The committee 
sat nine days. In brief its findings were that the lot sale 
at the first was not in Brethren hands, that those who 
had invested for gains ought to be willing to lose, that the 
prosperity of the city had caused an unduly high estima- 
tion of values, and that the price of real estate had mater- 
ially declined. The college authorities subsequently ac- 
knowledged that they had overestimated the valuation of 
the property. 

On February 12, 1898, the college passed an import- 
ant mile-stone in its history, when the name McPherson 
College was definitely adopted. A new charter was se- 
cured, and five trustees, in accordance with its provisions, 
were elected. With some slight changes the trustees were 
destined to hold office until 1911. They were Edward 
Frantz, President; S. B. Fahnestock, Vice-President; H. 
J. Harnly, Secretary; F. A. Vaniman, Treasurer; and A. 
C. Wieand. Section six of the charter says that Block A 
in College Place Addition with the property thereon shall 
be "held in trust by the trustees of this corporation for the 
German Baptist Brethren church for purposes as shown 
in paragraph second of this charter, and none of the cor- 
porate property now owned or hereafter acquired shall 
ever be mortgaged or in any wise encumbered and if so 
mortgaged or encumbered the title of the property so 
mortgaged or encumbered shall by that act vest in the 
German Baptist Brethren church to be held as it may 
deem best, and said Block A shall never be sold or bar- 
tered or given away except it be so ordered by a two- 
third vote of all the voters of the corporation present in 
person or by written proxy at a legal meeting and such 
order be sanctioned by the lawful vote of the General 
Conference of the German Baptist church. " Article 
seven states "the estimated value of the goods, chattels, 
lands, rights, and credits owned by this corporation is 
forty thousand dollars." Article eight asserts that the 
corporation is not one for profit, that the certificates of 
voting stock are not transferable, but that they are void 
at the death of the donor. On October 29, 1904, a stock- 


holders' meeting declared collegiate alumni eligible to 
vote. Occasional attempts were made to limit the voting 
privilege to members of the church, but they always 
failed. However, the trusteeship was open only to mem- 
bers of the Church of the Brethren. 

The first building to be erected on the campus was 
what is now known as Fahnestock Hall. It contained the 
dormitory, chapel, and class rooms. Sharp Administra- 
tion Hall was next erected. For some time but one story 
was in use, and this, covered with a temporary tar roof, 
stands out vividly in the memories of many students of the 
early days. This building was completed in 1898. At pres- 
ent it contains most of the recitation rooms, the business 
offices, and the chapel. With these two buildings the col- 
lege managed to get on for many years. 

As soon as the trustees of the new institution received 
a deed to the ten acre tract and a guaranty for the fifty- 
six thousand dollars in cash, M. M. Eshelman, George E. 
Studebaker, G. G. Lehmer, and S. G. Lehmer were sent 
out to sell the lots laid out on the one hundred and fifty 
acre tract. The McPherson College Building Association 
included in their contract eighty acres just east of the col- 
lege for an industrial farm. The project of an agricul- 
tural department was destined not to be realized until 
more recent years. The agents sent out to sell lots went 
thru Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, and Nebras- 
ka, selling for part cash and part in notes secured by 
mortgages. The cash was used to start the building and 
the notes were placed in the Second National Bank of Mc- 
Pherson to the amount of twenty-five thousand dollars 
and debentures were issued upon them. An agent was 
sent to New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore to sell 
these debentures, but he met with failure. Then Profes- 
sor Sharp went among his acquaintances in Illinois and 
sold twenty thousand dollars of the debentures to two of 
his friends, thus securing means to complete the first 
building on the campus. 

In order to sell lots and to attract attention provision 
was made whereby any one investing three hundred dol- 
lars was to have a free pass on any railroad west of Chi- 
cago; for a five hundred dollar investment there was a 


pass from any point in the United States; for double these 
amounts there was a free return ticket. All passes were 
to be good until January 1, 1888. 

The faculty for the first year consisted of: S. Z. 
Sharp, A. M., President, Mental and Moral Science; Leo- 
nard Huber, A. M., Ancient and Modern Languages; 
Howard Miller, Natural Science and English; S. G. Leh- 
mer, Ph. B., Mathematics; G. G. Lehmer, Normal Train- 
ing; A. L. Snoeberger, Commercial Branches; Freeman G. 
Muir, Music; George E. Studebaker, Business Manager. 

Professor Miller staid with the school only the first 
semester of the first year, resigning to enter the employ 
of the Union Pacific railroad company. He was regarded 
as a phenomenal success as a teacher. His place was 
taken by Miss H. Frances Davidson, A. M., a graduate of 
Kalamazoo College, and later for many years a mission- 
ary of the River Brethren church in Africa. Professor 
Snoeberger soon resigned in order to enter business. Pro- 
fessor Muir remained on the faculty until 1915 — one of 
the best beloved of all of the teachers of the institution. 

The second year began on September 3, 1889. Two 
noteworthy additions were made to the faculty, Profes- 
sor and Mrs. S. B. Fahnestock. The former became head 
of the Commercial department and the latter took charge 
of the work in Stenography and Typewriting. Profes- 
sor Fahnestock was continuously connected with the col- 
lege until his retirement in 1911. He met his death while 
bathing in the surf in California (Jan. 9, 1912). Mrs. 
Fahnestock is still connected with the college, having 
served as teacher in the Bible department for many years. 
In 1920, she became Dean of Women. The third year, 
which began on September 2, 1890, marked the advent 
of Edward Frantz into the history of the institution. He 
at first taught mathematics, but later entered the field 
of the Bible, and from 1902 to 1911, served as President. 
At present (1921) he is editor of the Gospel Messenger. 
He is remembered at McPherson as a most masterly 
teacher. The second year closed with a small beginning 
of a college department and an enrollment of three hun- 
dred seventeen. 

At this juncture two events occurred which threatened 
prospects which were otherwise pleasing. One was the 


drouth and the consequent failure of the Kansas "boom". 
The other was the dishonesty of the officers of the Second 
National Bank of McPherson to whom were entrusted the 
college funds. The insolvency of the bank thoroughly 
embarrassed the McPherson College Building Association, 
but Daniel Vaniman was able to make arrangements for 
the completion of the second story of the main building. 
The college was now at its lowest ebb financially, but it 

t was making forward strides in the educational world. 
The Normal department, of which President Sharp was 
now the head, grew by leaps and bounds. In the early 

, nineties ninety-two per cent of the teachers in McPherson 
county had attended the college. State certificates were 
granted to graduates of the Normal department. 

An exacting discipline was enforced in the college. I 
here incorporate a list of the rules and regulations as 
they appeared in the first catalog of the college. 

1. Students should bring- with them, besides text books, a Bible 
or Testament, Brethren's Hymn book or Gospel Hymns, towels, and a 
blanket or two, and should have their garments marked with full 

2. All students are required to be present at Chapel Exercises 
and all recitations; also to attend Sunday School and one church ser- 
vice each Lord's day, at the college chapel or at some other place, 
where their parents or guardian may direct in writing. 

3. Students are required to go to their rooms at the ringing of 
the study bell and to observe order so as not to disturb others in study. 

4. Students must extinguish their lights promptly at 10 o'clock 
P. M. unless excused by the professor in charge of the hall. 

5. No lady or gentleman will be allowed to tresspass on the ter- 
ritory of the opposite sex, except by special permission of the Presi- 

6. Students desiring to leave the grounds or to visit other stu- 
dents during study hours must obtain permission from the professor 
in charge of their hall. 

7. Ladies and gentlemen will not ride, walk, or play together ex- 
cept by special arrangement with the President. 

8. Students will be held responsible for misconduct in their rooms 
and for damage done to the school property. 

9. No students rooming in the dormitory shall be absent after ten 
o'clock P. M. unless by permission of the President. 

10. Students may organize literary societies which shall be gov- 
erned and controlled by a constitution and by-laws approved by the 


11. Students desiring- to visit the cemetery or to go to the city 
must obtain permission from the President, except on Saturday after- 
noons between the hours of one and four o'clock, when general liberty 
to go to the city and return is granted. 

12. Students will be permitted to meet in the chapel for social 
intercourse twenty minutes immediately after supper of each day — 
Sunday excepted — also for twenty minutes after the close of society 
meeting, such social meetings to be under the supervision of one or 
more of the faculty. 

13. Visitors desiring to call upon students in the building must 
apply to the President. 

14. All members of the Brethren or German Baptist Church are 
required to comply with the principles of non-conformity to the world 
and to conform to the general order of the church in apparel and 
wearing of the hair. Those who are not members of the German Bap- 
tist church are expected to make no display in the use of jewelry and 
to observe the laws of plainness and simplicity in their apparel. 

In 1896, President Sharp severed his connection with 
McPherson College, shortly afterwards starting another 
college at Plattsburg, Missouri, which, however, proved 
an unsuccessful venture. C. E. Arnold, A. M., professor 
of mathematics, succeeded to the Presidency. The in- 
stitution received a new charter and the present name, 
McPherson College, was formally adopted on February 
12, 1898. Under President Arnold's direction the Normal 
and the Collegiate departments grew in numbers and in 
general effectiveness. In 1902, the death of President Ar- 
nold caused the institution to suffer what was considered 
an irreparable loss, but Edward Frantz proved himself to 
be a worthy successor. President Frantz served from 
1902 to 1911, although he was not actively connected with 
the college after 1909, his health having broken down in 
the year last named. In 1911, Dr. John Addison Clement, 
an alumnus of the college, became President. He served 
two years, leaving to accept a position on the faculty of 
Northwestern University. The present incumbent in the 
presidency is Dr. Daniel Webster Kurtz, a graduate of 
Juniata College and of Yale University. He has also 
studied in the universities of Marburg, Leipzig, and Ber- 
lin. In 1911, Juniata College honored him with the de- 
gree Doctor of Divinity. He has served since 1914. There 
have been two acting Presidents of the college : S. J. Mil- 
ler (1910-1911) and H. J. Harnly (1913-1914). Bio- 


graphical sketches of the various Presidents will be found 
elsewhere in this book. 

The material equipment of the college has been grow- 
ing with encouraging rapidity the last few years. In the 
spring of 1909, the college purchased a farm of some 173 
acres, just south of the campus for the purpose of estab- 
lishing on it an agricultural experiment station. The in- 
stallation of the department of agriculture in 1913 served 
to make this purchase a very fortunate one. Several 
farms have come into the hands of the college. In the 
summer of 1909, Mr. James Richardson, a retired farmer 
living near Galva, Kansas, gave to the college a fine farm 
of one hundred sixty acres, located nine miles southeast 
of McPherson, intending that it become a part of the ag- 
ricultural feature of the school. In 1919, John Kline, a 
farmer of Cherokee county, gave a quarter section of land 
to the college. This land was soon sold, however, and the 
proceeds, in accordance with the wish of the donor, ap- 
plied to other funds of the college. The Smith farm, given 
by Elder and Mrs. C. B. Smith, then of Morrill, Kansas, 
became the property of the college in 1919. It consists 
of one half section of Osborne county land. An annuity 
is paid to Brother and Sister Smith during their life time. 
The Wagoner farm, secured in 1920, was the gift of Anna 
and Catharine Wagoner, and it is located in Webster 
county, Nebraska. Others have made provisions in their 
wills by which the college will in time become the posses- 
sor of other real estate. 

The department of agriculture has proved to be one 
of the most popular in the college. It was established in 
1913, and Robert E. Mohler, an alumnus of the college, 
was made the head. In this capacity he has served most 
acceptably since that time, winning for himself and the 
college many honors and rewards. His students have on 
several occasions won trophies in state stock judging con- 
tests. The Domestic Science department was also estab- 
lished in 1913, with Miss Elizabeth Culp in charge. It 
has abundantly proved its worth to the college. 

Reference has already been made to the erection of 
the first two buildings on the campus. The third, the Car- 
negie Library, was built in 1906, the college raising ap- 


proximately $15,000 among its friends for the purpose of 
an endowment and Mr. Carnegie furnishing an equal 
amount for the construction of the library. To Professor 
Fahnestock belongs largely the credit and honor of ne- 
gotiating for this much needed building. Until 1911, the 
gymnasium was located in the north of the basement of 
Sharp Administration Hall. A campaign was launched 
in 1910 for the purpose of raising funds for an auditorium- 
gymnasium. Ex-Governor E. W. Hoch spoke at the rally. 
Sufficient funds were raised to warrant the construction 
of the building in 1911. It is located at the north extrem- 
ity of the campus. The increasing number of students 
made apparent the need of another dormitory, and by the 
fall of 1916, a commodious structure, capable of housing 
about seventy-two girls, was ready for occupancy. For- 
mer President Sharp spoke at the dedication services held 
during Bible Institute in January, 1917. The dormitory 
was christened Arnold Hall. Continued pressure for 
rooming quarters, especially from young married couples, 
led to the erection of another dormitory in 1919. It is lo- 
cated immediately north of Arnold Hall. About one hun- 
dred fifty students take their meals in the college dining 
room, located in Arnold Hall. A Science Hall, to cost ap- 
proximately $160,000, is under construction. 

McPherson College has always held to the theory that 
other activities than class work should help fill up the 
student's program. The mere book-worm is not the nor- 
mal product of a college education. Hence, the varieties 
of social expression offered in the college. 

The literary societies date to the very beginning of the 
school. The Emersonians and Ciceronians vied with each 
other in the earlier days in working up large member- 
ships and producing competitive programs. Many of the 
old students who have distinguished themselves in pub- 
lic speaking are free to acknowledge their debt of grati- 
tude to these early literary societies. Later in the history 
of the college there were three societies — the Irving Me- 
morial (for college students), the Eurekas (for upper 
academy students), and the Elite (for all other students). 

The Prohibition League was organized in 1904. Dean 
H. J. Harnly has always been a sort of patron of the local 


league. Other workers of note have been A. E. Hedine, 
Walter Thompson, D, L. Dalke, R. C. Flory, S. Ira Arnold, 
Fred Barnes, Paul Harnly, D. C. Steele, H. C. Crumpacker, 
and Robert Cram. In 1908, at the state contest held in 
McPherson, the McPherson College contestant, H. C. 
Crumpacker, took second place. 

The Student Volunteer Band was organized in 1895, 
being at first known, however, as the Mission Band. Bro- 
ther E. H. Eby was the moving spirit in the forma- 
tion of the Band. His appeals were irresistible. His 
mantle fell upon the shoulders of F. H. Crumpacker, 
later to become a pioneer in the Chinese mission. In 1896 
there were sixteen members. Since 1900 the Band has 
been represented at every state and national Volunteer 
convention which has been held. The activities of the or- 
ganization consist of weekly meetings, special public pro- 
grams, and deputation work in outlying churches. All of 
the foreign missionaries who have been in McPherson 
since its organization have belonged to the Band. In 1916, 
a slight change in regard to the organization took place, 
whereby a separate body, called the United Student Vol- 
unteers, organized under the auspices of the Church of 
the Brethren, took into its ranks those preparing for 
either home or foreign work, while those looking forward 
especially to foreign work are called Student Volunteers. 
In 1918, about sixty students were included in the first 
organization and about twenty in the last named. These 
organizations have done an incalculable amount of good 
in introducing students to the world problems of the day 
and in popularizing the subject of missions in the church 
in general. 

The Alumni Association until 1915 consisted of gradu- 
ates of the college and normal departments, but since that 
time consists of all persons who have received diplomas 
from any department of the institution. The action en- 
larging the membership was made retroactive. J.Z.Gilbert 
was the first person to receive the A. B. degree from the 
college and Susie Slusher was the first lady to receive 
that degree. There are at present (1921) about nine hun- 
dred members in the Association. The affairs of the As- 
sociation are conducted by a board of fifteen, which at 


present consists of the following persons: Lola M. Hill, 
George Boone, Amanda Fahnestock, R. C. Strohm, Edna 
Neher Charles, G. C. Dresner, Robert E. Mohler, J. C. For- 
ney, Alma G. Anderson, Edith McGaffey, Lily Hawkin- 
son, Lewis Naylor, W. O. Beckner, Susie Slusher Saylor, 
and Homer G. Engle. Of this Board the following are the 
officers: Edith McGaffey, President; George Boone, 
Vice-President; E. L. Craik, Secretary-Treasurer. 

Seven of the alumni have been called to college 
presidencies. They are S. J. Miller (LaVerne), A. C. 
Wieand (Bethany), H. W. Lohrenz (Tabor), J. A. Clem- 
ent (McPherson), B. B. Baker (Daphne Normal, Ala- 
bama), F. F. Holsopple (Blue Ridge), and Edward 
Frantz (LaVerne). Two — J. J. Yoder and J. H. B. Wil- 
liams — have been connected with the General Mission 
Board. Three have served on the General Educational 
Board, viz., Edward Frantz, A. C. Wieand, and J. H. B. 
Williams. At least sixty-five of the alumni have been or 
are ministers of the Church of the Brethren, and of this 
number over half have taken the A. B. degree. This in- 
cludes no classes since 1918. Fourteen are now on the 
mission fields of China and India and more are to follow. 
All of the men in the service of foreign missions have at- 
tained the A. B. degree and several have had added train- 

The Christian Associations are live wires in the col- 
lege. The Y. M. C. A. dates back to March 29, 1900, 
when a company of fifty-six. men started the local organ- 
ization. Formerly its meetings were held on Sunday af- 
ternoons, but Sunday's program is usually so full that 
Wednesday morning at ten o'clock is the regular meeting 
time. Much of the religious life of the college and many 
of the most genuine conversions are due to its influence. 
The following men have served as president of the col- 
lege Y. M. C. A. : C. F. Gustafson, J. A. Clement, W. L. 
Harter, P. C, Hiebert, S. C. Miller, J. H. B. Williams, H. 
W. Lohrenz, R. W. Detter, B. E. Ebel, G. C. Dotzour, J. 
C. Russel, J. W. Deeter, Homer G. Engle, J. C. Forney, 
O. H. Austin, Ray Cullen, J. Howard Engle, and David 
E. Brubaker. The Y. W. C. A. was organized in 1900. 
Its activities have been of the same general character. 


Its successive presidents have been Lena Wieand Sargent, 
Laura Harshbarger Haugh, Dottie Wheeler Clement, Em- 
ma Horner Eby, Mrs. S. B. Fahnestock, Lillie Hope, Lulu 
Ullom, Edna Neher, Ada Beckner, and Marguerite Muse. 
From, 1904 to 1911 Mrs. Fahnestock held the office con- 

Years ago McPherson College recognized the need of 
an endowment for its maintenance. It is but a trite truth 
that no educational institution is self-supporting by vir- 
tue of the tuitions received from its students. The state 
of Kansas some years ago set a standard which each fully 
accredited college must meet. One requirement was 
that there be at least $200,000 of endowment actual- 
ly producing a minimum of five per cent or in lieu 
of this an annual assured income of at least $10,000, 
exclusive qf tuitions. This is rendered necessary 
since a minimum salary of $1,000 for each of the 
seven professors of the A. M. degree was required 
in order to keep up the scholastic standards of the 
college. It was the stern necessity of raising this large 
endowment which stared President Kurtz in the face 
when he accepted the presidency of the college in 1914. 
A vigorous campaign of education along the line of the 
endowment was his first move, and in spite of many dis- 
couragements he pushed the work to a successful com- 
pletion. A comparative statement is not at hand, but the 
Treasurer's report for 1920 shows some encouraging fig- 
ures. The salary budget for 1919-1920, was $31,097.52. 
The grand total of endowment was $380,290.32. The ap- 
proximate total valuation of the institution was $549,746.- 
32. That this had grown from $182,000 in the six years 
of Dr. Kurtz's presidency is a remarkable tribute to the 
ability of the head of the college, to whose efforts much 
of the money getting was due. 

McPherson College has been unusually honored in the 
success of her students in securing fellowships in the var- 
ious universities of the United States. Since 1909, the 
college has had arrangements whereby each year a fel- 
low is chosen from the graduating class on a stipend to 
do graduate work in the University of Kansas. Many of 
the alumni have also received regular University fellow- 


ships. Among those who have held one or the other of 
these fellowships are Rosco C. Ingalls, B. E. Ebel, D. L. 
Dalke, Bertha Colline, J. P. Schroeder, H. W. Thompson, 
P. B. Way, Jessie M. Jacobs, E. L. Craik, Paul W. Harnly, 
D, C. Steele, Alice N. Vogt, George E. Wynn, Robert R. 
Russel, Edith McGaffey, Grace Greenwood, Nina Swan- 
son, and Paul R. Yoder. These students have made many 
valuable contributions in their various lines of research. 
A list of the trustees, business managers, and instruc- 
tors of McPherson College is to be found in the appendix 
of this book. 



THE idea of an insurance society, organized as an 
agent of the church, apparently originated in Kansas. 
In the Gospel Messenger of March 11, 1884, J. E. Hilkey, 
of Overbrook, made the suggestion of such an organiza- 
tion, adding, however, that he had been requested to do 
so. He argued that cheaper insurance could be thus af- 
forded and that it was an injustice to those who had in- 
sured in other companies to be asked, after paying their 
own policies, to turn and help some unfortunate member, 
who, not having insurance, had sustained a heavy loss. 
The force of his argument is apparent. 

A very practical step was taken, whether because of 
the above suggestion or not does not appear, when on 
March 14 and 15, 1884, delegates from the Belleville and 
White Rock churches met "to form some method of apply- 
ing 2 Corinthians 8:9-15." This step was taken with the 
understanding that if it proved a success, it might be ex- 
tended to other congregations. The organization was 
called "The Brethren's Special Work of Benevolence" 
and it purposed to make good any loss by fire, lightning, 
or storms, paying three-fourths of the value of the damag- 
ed property. James L. Switzer of White Rock was secre- 
tary of the society. I have no data showing the history of 
the venture. 

The Brethren's Mutual Aid Society of Northeastern 
Kansas was organized at Ozawkie, in Jefferson county, 
on April 1, 1885. The officers chosen were Dr. P. R. 
Wrightsman, Emporia, President; J. D. Trostle, Plymp- 
ton, Vice-President; S. B. Katherman, Lawrence, Secre- 
tary; and T. G. Winey, Lawrence, Treasurer. The direc- 
tors were George Myers, Henry Lauver, and Jacob P. 
Vaniman. It was agreed that an entrance fee of two dol- 
lars should be charged, that the assessment be one-half 
mill for each dollar insured, that there be no policies is- 


sued until at least fifty thousand dollars worth of prop- 
erty had been insured, and that each local church in the 
district appoint two solicitors or appraisers. The organ- 
ization was purely a district affair. The Treasurer made 
out his bond in Lawrence, on May 12, 1885. It was signed 
by John Forney, Thomas G. Winey, James E. Hilkey, Wil- 
liam Weybright, J. C. Metsker, A. L. Pearsall, George 
Myers, Samson Harshman, and Frederick Sherfy, each 
bondsman signing for one thousand dollars. Only five 
one thousand dollar bondsmen are now required. The 
first policy issued by the newly organized company was 
to John H. Ayres, of the Wade Branch church. 

The first annual meeting of the society was held in 
the Pleasant Grove church, south of Lawrence, on Janu- 
ary 12, 1886. Business had been prosperous. Policies 
to the amount of eighty-five thousand dollars had been 
issued, and the society was free from debt. It was agreed 
to extend the benefits of the organization to the whole 
state of Kansas. Aside from the substitution of the name 
of M. W. Metsker for that of Jacob P. Vaniman the offi- 
cers remained the same as above indicated. The society 
pledged itself to pay losses within sixty days. 

The volume of business continued to grow. In 1887, 
it was announced that Missouri, Colorado, and Nebraska 
would be included in the territory of the society. Poli- 
cies had been issued up to a total of two hundred seventy- 
five thousand dollars. In 1888, over four hundred thou- 
sand dollars was covered by the insurance and in 1889, 
five hundred thirty-three thousand eight hundred fifty- 
nine dollars. There were now two hundred sixty-eight 
policy holders and an assessment was made of two and 
one-half mills. On December 1, 1918, the amount insured 
by the company was three million three hundred thousand 
seven hundred forty-five dollars. There were then 
twelve hundred policy holders. The territory included by 
the society has been extended several times, until Okla- 
homa, Texas, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, New Mexico, 
California, Louisiana, and Arkansas have been made re- 
cipients of the benefits of the enterprise. 

There have been several changes in the management 
of the society. In 1895, J. D. Barton succeeded T. G. 


Winey as Treasurer, holding the office until 1899, when 
James T. Kinzie took his place. He served until 1912, 
when John M. Flory became Treasurer. On account of 
Brother Flory's ill health a few years ago Roy Kistner 
took the Treasurership. From 1900 to 1912, Mrs. B. S. 
Katherman was Secretary. She was succeeded in 1912 
by Mrs. Myrtle Hilkey Hoover, who has the headquarters 
of the society at Qverbrook. Dr. Wrightsman was suc- 
ceeded in the Presidency by E. Hertzler and I. L. Hoover, 
the last named having served since 1900. The following 
have served on the Board of Directors : J. F. Shoemaker, 
George E. Wise, C. J. Hooper, William Davis, C. J. Mish- 
ler, J. J. Wright, S. J. Heckman, B. Forney, W. S. Ward, 
George Sperline, M. W. Meyers, and C. A. Shank. 

The rules of the association specify that only members 
of the Church of the Brethren may have their property 
insured in the organization. If either husband or wife is 
a member they can have their property insured by both 
husband and wife signing the memorandum and the pol- 
icy will be issued in the name of both. The association 
agrees to pay insured members two-thirds of the cash 
value of any immediate loss or damage caused by fire, 
lightning, wind, or tornado. Each applicant for member- 
ship must pay an admittance fee of two dollars and an ad- 
ditional assessment of two mills on the dollar to keep up 
the incidental expenses. All policies continue for five 
years from the first of April following the date of issue. 
There are certain limitations on the character of prop- 
erty that is insurable. 

The Brethren have always considered it a religious 
duty to look after their poor and aged. The Conference 
of 1857 merely gave expression to a practice already long 
established when it said "A member of the church should 
not be put into the poor house if it can be possibly avoid- 

It was particularly fitting that Enoch Eby should have 
been the one to make the first fruitful suggestion of an 
Old Folks Home. In doing this he said : "It is a burning 
disgrace to put members in the poor house. It is purely 
local, and we entertain the pleasing hope that it prevails 
to a very limited extent. In my travels I have never found 



the place yet, thank God. I am in favor of an Old Folks 
Home near a town with a well-disciplined old-fashioned 
church in it, in which to worship." 

The matter came up in a conspicuous way when the 
Conference of 1887, thru a committee, reported against 
a national home, but favored referring the project to the 
various districts or states. In line with this the editor of 
the Gospel Messenger suggested, on March 20, 1888, that 
there might be two or three such homes in the Brother- 
hood, and that Iowa, Missouri, Nebraska, Colorado, Cali- 
fornia, and Kansas might support one of them. 

At the Conway Springs Conference of Southern Kan- 
sas (1888), a committee of five, composed of Lemuel Hil- 
lery, S. Z. Sharp, Enoch Eby, John Wise, and Washing- 
ton Wyland, was designated to organize a Home or to 
take steps in that direction. It was decided to ask the 
other districts of Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska to join 
in the project. If they were favorable each was requested 
to appoint a committee to confer. If it was felt that the 
territory indicated was too large, suggestions and prefer- 
ences of congregations were to be sent to the committee 
of five. 

Northwestern Kansas was the first to give assent to 
the plan, and on May 28, 1888, appointed a committee of 
five to act with the committee of Southern Kansas. North- 
eastern Kansas deferred the matter one year, and on Ap- 
ril 20, 1890, delegated three members to confer. 

The committee of Southern Kansas reported in 1889 
that it had decided : 

1. To send Bishop Eby as a representative to confer 
with the representatives of the other districts in regard 
to formulating a plan to locate and to manage the Home. 

2. To leave the location to the general committee rep- 
resenting the several districts, but to make the following 
recommendations : 

a. That there be due regard to facilities for church 
and spiritual advantages. 

b. That there be good railroad facilities. 

c. That as many cottages be built as needed. 

d. That the Home be built and maintained by dona- 
tions and endowments. 


e. That the work of locating and building be not com- 
menced with less than $7,400. 

A form of charter was suggested but nothing was said 
as to how much territory was to be included. 

The general committee met in McPherson on July 16, 
1890 and elected Enoch Eby Chairman, I. H. Crist Secre- 
tary, and John Hollinger Treasurer. It was decided to 
confine the territory to Kansas, to ask for offers of money 
and endowment, to receive offers of a location, and to 
meet again on October 7, at Booth, Kansas. At this meet- 
ing Booth (now Darlow) was decided upon as the loca- 
tion, an eighty acre farm was bought at a cost of $3,500 
($1,000 of it being a donation), and a constitution was 
proposed. The legal name agreed upon was "The Aged, 
Infirm, and Orphans' Home." The five trustees were to 
be selected by the four state districts. 

The Conference of Southern Kansas accepted the 
work of the committee with the additional provisions that 
the trustees be empowered to exchange the present loca- 
tion for another in the same neighborhood if deemed best, 
and that the trustees should never under any circum- 
stances involve the institution in debt. 

The institution was opened on September 1, 1893, 
with J. P. Harshbarger and wife in charge as superintend- 
ents. The first trustees were E. Eby Foreman, S. L. My- 
ers Assistant Foreman, A. F. Miller Treasurer, M. W. 
Metsker Secretary, and J. B. Wolfe Assistant Secretary. 
Money was solicited far and near, Bishop Eby making a 
trip thru Iowa to secure funds. The membership of Kan- 
sas was assessed for the maintenance of the Home. In 
1903, it was found that thirty cents per capita was re- 
quired. This was, however, later reduced. At present 
the assessment is a part of the general district budget. 

Among those who have contributed liberally (one 
thousand dollars or more) one notes the names of. John 
Gurley, Henry Bassinger, and Elder James R. Gish. Some 
years ago S. L. Myers and wife donated to the home an 
eighty acre farm in Jewell county. J. D. Yoder, one of 
the most liberal givers in Kansas, also remembered the 
institution in a substantial way. There is a small interest- 
bearing endowment. 


According to the constitution of the Home the trustees 
of the church districts of Kansas may elect two additional 
members if they so desire. It is the practice to elect one 
additional member. Since the founding of the Home the 
following trustees have served: Northwestern Kansas, 
Samuel L. Myers; Southwestern Kansas, A. F. Miller, A. 
G. Miller, W. W. Rexroad; Northeastern Kansas, M. W. 
Metsker, I. L. Hoover, O. O. Button, Roy Rock, J. F. Mets- 
ker; Southeastern Kansas, J. B. Wolfe, J. M. Quaken- 
bush, J. S. Clark, G. E. Shirky. Elected by the Board : 
Enoch Eby, D. M. Negley, O. H. Feiler. 

The following have served as superintendents of the 
Home: J. P. Harshbarger, Benj. Schisler, Thomas G. 
Winey, Brother Keim, A. W. Finfrock, M. M. Ennis, John 
Showalter, S. P. Weaver, H. B. Martin, G. W. Keedy, and 
T. P. Oxley. 

Several times an effort has been made to consolidate 
the work of the Old Folks Home and that of the Child 
Rescue Society. Permission was secured from the various 
district conferences in the fall of 1920. There were some 
legal questions to be settled but at present (June, 1921) 
affairs are adjusting themselves nicely. 

The work of rescuing children is comparatively a new 
activity in the Church of the Brethren in Kansas. It was 
apparently begun in the Northeastern and Southeastern 
districts at about the same time. At the district confer- 
ence of Northeastern Kansas in 1905, a committee of three 
was appointed to find homes in Christian families for or- 
phans and homeless children. I. H. Crist was Chairman 
of the committee, Viola Cline was Secretary, and Josie 
Powell was Treasurer. Early in 1906, the committee or- 
ganized more thoroughly by getting a charter. Josie Pow- 
ell was succeeded in office in turn by Cora Wampler and 
Jennie Mohler. 

By 1907, it seems that the work had got under head- 
way in Southeastern Kansas. In fact, it was probably 
started in 1906. It was carried on under the name of the 
"Dunker Brethren's Orphan's Home Society", with E. E. 
Joyce President and Ada Williams Treasurer. In 1906, 
the McPherson church asked the district of Southwestern 
Kansas to form a society like that which was already op- 



erating in Oklahoma. The answer was a committee con- 
sisting of L. D. Mohler, J. W. Mishler, and D. M. Eller, 
with J. P. Vaniman as Secretary. In 1908, the matter of 
rescue work was brought up at all of the four district 

The upshot of the agitation was that the Child Rescue 
and Orphan Society of the Church of the Brethren was or- 
ganized under a charter on December 16, 1908. This 

O. H. and Hazel Austin 

H. M. Brubaker 

C. B. Smith 

Chas. M. Yearout 

work, the scope of which is in general indicated by the 
name of the society, is undenominational but is under the 
auspices of the Brethren in Kansas and Colorado. The 
special field of the society is among the orphans, the 
abandoned, the neglected, and the destitute. It seeks to 
find homes for the homeless in well-to-do Christian fam- 
ilies. Children are received from parents or guardians 
by release to the society, which then becomes the legal 
parent to provide homes for such children. To insure 
finding proper homes children are first placed on trial 
and are changed if need be until suitable homes are found. 
When the Orphan's Society was first organized there 
was a managing board of three trustees elected by the dis- 
trict conferences. This number was subsequently in- 
creased to five. The trustees employ a superintendent 
who conducts the active work of the society. L. D. Moh- 
ler, who was in charge of the rescue work in Southwestern 
Kansas prior to the organization of the society in 1908, 
was the first superintendent, holding that office until his 
death in January, 1909. Then E. D. Root, former super- 


intendent of a similar work in Southeastern Kansas, 
served until December, 1909, when, because of failing 
health, he resigned. E. E. John, of McPherson, then be- 
came superintendent and has served in a most efficient 
manner. The work was at first supported by free-will 
offerings, but in 1920 was included in a district budget 
for benevolences. There are no records of work done be- 
fore 1908, but from that date until October, 1915, some 
one hundred thirty children were cared for by the society. 
The need of a detention home for the children has 
been an embarrassing one and on several occasions ef- 
forts have been made, as mentioned before in this chap- 
ter, to consolidate the Old Folks Home with the Rescue 
Work. It is felt that less expense would be incurred in 
thus carrying on the work of the two institutions. A gift 
of $1500 was received for the purpose of erecting a deten- 
tion home. A petition from the governing boards of the 
two institutions succeeded in 1920, in getting the permis- 
sion of the various district meetings to effect a consolida- 
tion. The officers of the Child Rescue Society in 1920 
were D. A. Crist, President, O. H. Feiler, Vice-President, 
W. H. Miller, Secretary, E. F. Sherfy, Treasurer, and I. 
L. Hoover. 



IT is with extreme regret that an unfortunate division in 
the church must be chronicled. It occurred in 1881, 
in Ohio, and a few facts should be presented to enable the 
reader to get his bearings and to appreciate the effect on 
Kansas history. Brushing aside multitudes of details, 
the outstanding fact of history is that the German Baptist 
Brethren church divided into three divisions in the year 
named. They were known as the Old German Baptist 
Brethren (ultra-conservative), German Baptist Brethren 
(conservative), and the Brethren (liberal or Progressive). 
Of course, the division was by no means a sudden occur- 
rence, and leaving out of acount the personal element, the 
lines of cleavage, of several years growth, may be noted. 

In the year 1879, fourteen bishops in the Miami valley, 
Ohio, convened and drew up a set of resolutions (hence 
they were called Resolutionists) touching on several 
movements and features of the church which they con- 
ceived to be too liberal or worldly. In the scope of the 
resolutions they condemned high schools (and of course 
colleges), Sunday Schools, revival meetings, and a sal- 
aried ministry. This negative program serves them to this 
day. They formally organized on November 25, 1881, 
in Montgomery county, Ohio, finding that their views 
were not acceptable to the church in general. At the Con- 
ference in 1882, nine states were represented. The "Old 
Orders", as they are popularly known, are dwindling in 

I am indebted to my friend and colleague, Professor 
Maurice A. Hess, of McPherson College, for the follow- 
ing brief sketch regarding the present status of the "Old 
Orders" in the state of Kansas. 

"There are five organized congregations of the Old 
German Baptist Brethren church in Kansas. The Wil- 
low Springs church is located in Douglas county about 



twelve miles southwest of Lawrence and three miles 
southeast of Lone Star. The ministers are Nicholas Crist, 
Daniel Flory, and I. L. Montgomery. There are about 
forty members. The Eight Mile church, Franklin county, 
is about fifteen miles northwest of Ottawa and two miles 
west of the village of Centropolis. The ministers are J. 
B. Wertz, George Montgomery, Jacob Shuler, Jonathan 
Crist, and W. R. Barnhart. The membership here is about 
fifty. The largest congregation, numbering about sev- 
enty, is in Anderson county. This church, called Cedar 
Creek, is located about seven miles north of Westphalia, 
and five miles south of Harris. The ministers are Moses 
Plunkett, L. W. Flora, Henry D. Brubaker, J. L. Oyler, 
Noah Flory, and Ezra Hirt. D. J. Wertz is the only resi- 
dent minister at Big Creek church, near Quinter. The 
membership here is about twenty-five. Sand Creek 
church, Pratt county, is about three miles northeast of 
Sawyer. The membership is about forty, and the minis- 
ters are William Flory, David Kessler, N. W. Garber, and 
J. M. Reese. Other ministers living in the state at places 
at which there are no organized churches are W. H. C. 
Hofman, Eminence, Finney county, and Joshua Kessler, 
ElDorado, Butler county. The few members who live iso- 
lated in other parts of the state hold membership in one 
of the above named congregations/' 

The genesis of the Progressive Brethren occurred at 
Ashland, Ohio, in a convention, June 29 and 30, 1881, 
when a declaration of principles, similar in tone to our na- 
tional Declaration of Independence, was drawn up. Sta- 
tistics compiled in 1895 (I find none later) show that 
they had in the United States one hundred thirty-eight 
congregations, two hundred six church buildings, ten 
thousand thirty-one members, one thousand five hundred 
twenty-eight accessions for that year, and that the church 
property was valued at $256,138. 

Various conditions attended the separation which took 
place in Kansas. There was harmony in the congrega- 
tion at Nickerson until about the time of the Annual Con- 
ference at Bismarck Grove, Kansas, in 1883. An attempt 
to exclude J. W. Beer, a minister of Progressive tenden- 
cies, from partaking of the Eucharist, led to dissension. 


After deliberation a fortunate agreement was reached 
whereby the parties covenanted to separate in peace and 
to treat each other as Christian friends. Some attempted 
to do the impossible thing of remaining neutral. The vote 
was apparently light. The Progressives adopted the fol- 
lowing resolution: "That the Gospel alone is sufficient 
rule for our faith and practice, containing all things nec- 
essary to our salvation, and therefore we adopt it as our 
creed, and resolve, by the help of the Lord, to live accord- 
ing to its teachings. Resolved, That we be known as the 
Brethren Church, of Nickerson, Kansas/' In 1901, the 
membership of this congregation had waned from one 
hundred two to thirty. It is now practically defunct. 

The Pony Creek church, three and one half miles 
north of Morrill, presents a peculiar condition. Each 
faction owned half of the property but a Progressive 
owned the ground upon which the building stood, and he 
refused to deed it to the Conservatives. Finally, after in- 
creasing from one hundred to one hundred eighty (1889- 
1892), the congregation was divided on a north and south 
line, the Progressives retaining the church building, and 
the Conservatives, under the name of North Morrill 
church, building a church house of their own. 

In 1894, the two factions at McLouth decided to build 
a church together. The Conservatives, being but few in 
numbers, were legally a part of the Ozawkie church. It 
is said that one donor who gave generously provided in 
his gift that both persuasions should meet in peace, and 
that the first which should cause disturbance should lose 
its privilege of worshipping in the building. 

Several of the Conservative congregations have at 
times lost to the Progressive ranks. Among them are 
Washington Creek, Pleasant Grove, Neosho, Parsons, and 
Fairview. But near Laneville an instance is recorded in 
1885 where the whole Progressive organization was prac- 
tically absorbed by the Conservatives. 

Holsinger's "History of the Tunkers", written in 1901, 
names the following as constituting the congregations of 
the Progressive Brethren in Kansas : South Haven, Maple 
Grove (Norton county), McLouth, Mulvane, Nickerson, 
North Solomon, and Pleasant View (Neosho county). 


I have no later data upon which I am willing to depend. 
There was perhaps never the bitterness of feeling 
among the various elements in Kansas that was found in 
other parts. The extremes seldom got close enough to- 
gether geographically. The field was large enough for 
them all without any proselyting. Then, too, the original 
differences were really imported to Kansas; they were 
not a native growth, and hence never became so virulent. 
Elder W. J. H. Bauman, himself a leader in the Progres- 
sive Brethren church, in a private letter to the author, 
gave it as his opinion several years ago, that the division 
of 1881 was, viewed from the present time, as uncalled 
for as it was lamentable. 



THE history of the division of Kansas into church dis- 
tricts presents several interesting facts that should 
not be passed over without some notice. Until 1873, Kan- 
sas and Nebraska, owing to their sparse population, con- 
stituted one district, having once been a part of the dis- 
trict of Missouri. By 1876, a division of Kansas had been 
made whereby a northern district included the southern 
part of Nebraska. 

In 1881, the effort to reconstitute the Kansas bound- 
ary lines became urgent. George Myers wrote in the 
Primitive Christian of July 19, 1881 : "Inasmuch as the 
Northern districts of Kansas, including a territory north 
of the Kansas River, have heretofore been represented 
with Nebraska District at our A. M., a proposition was 
made at our late D. M., and carried, that a committee be 
appointed to correspond with the northern brethren. We 
understand the committee has done so with favorable re- 
sults. They are willing to establish a line between north- 
ern and southern Kansas, and let each district represent 
at A. M. independent of the others. We understand there 
may be a small difficulty in the establishing of a line be- 
tween the two districts. At our communion meeting 
which is in the past, the elders and officials who were 
there talked the matter over and a proposition was made 
and the undersigned requested to report through the pa- 
pers. The proposition is this: The northern brethren 
shall choose a committee of three or five (five was rec- 
ommended) ; the southern brethren select an equal num- 
ber, these brethren to be selected at the District Meeting 
by the delegates. If the northern brethren hold their Dis- 
trict Meeting first, they shall appoint their committee and 
send it when the southern D. M. convenes and consult 
with the committee at that meeting and establish a line. 
If the southern D. M. convenes first, they shall go and con- 



suit with the northern committee. The above proposition 
was made and we wish the brethren north and south to 
consider the matter " 

That there was some misunderstanding regarding the 
above plan became evident the following year. There 
was some confusion among the Kansas churches whether 
they should be represented in the northern half of the 
state or the southern at the district conference of 1882. 
George Myers, who took great interest in the redisrict- 
ing of the state, held that the boundary line settlement 
could not be legal until it was approved by the churches 
of southern Kansas in 1882. Without following out the 
details of the controversy here, we may simply say that 
by the year 1885, there emerged three districts: North- 
western, which also included Colorado, Northeastern, 
which comprised twenty-two counties and claimed fif- 
teen organized churches in twelve of the counties; and 
Southern, which included eighteen organized churches. 

In 1889, a change of boundary lines was felt needful 
and Bishop Enoch Eby suggested that a committeeman 
be appointed by each of the several districts to look into 
the matter. The Northeastern district was entertaining 
seriously the plan of allying herself with Missouri. Her 
conference of 1889 passed the following paper: "Will 
Northeastern Kansas favor a redistricting of the State of 
Kansas so that the line will run entirely across the state 
from north to south, approximating the following bound- 
ary : East line of Middle District to run with the East line 
of Republic, Cloud, Ottawa, Saline, McPherson, Sedg- 
wick, and Sumner counties, and the East line of the West- 
ern District to run with the Eastern line of Norton, Gra- 
ham, Trego, Ness, Hodgman, Ford, and Clark counties/' 
This proposal was "laid over" for a year. 

The same year Southern Kansas considered redistrict- 
ing seriously enough to appoint a committee of three to 
confer with the Northeastern and Northwestern districts 
in regard to the proposed move. There were about forty 
churches in the district and the great distances made a 
change desirable. A subsequent committee, appointed in 
1890, was authorized to make the division of Southern 
Kansas. The report provided as follows: 


1. Beginning at the N. E. corner of the District on the 
Missouri line, thence south on that line and the west line 
of Arkansas to the Canadian River, and west with the 
south fork of the said river to the east line of Oklahoma 
and of the Pawnee Nation to the Arkansas Riverandnorth 
with said river to the eastern boundary of Sumner county; 
thence north with said boundary and with the east line 
of Sedgwick, Harvey, and McPherson to the N. E. cor- 
ner of the last named county, thence east with the south 
line of the N. E. District of Kansas to the place of begin- 
ning. This District shall be called Southeastern Kansas 
and Northern Indian Territory. 

2. Beginning at the N. E. corner of McPherson county, 
thence south with the west line of Southeastern District 
of Kansas to Oklahoma, thence north and west with the 
north line of Cheyenne county, Panhandle of Texas, New 
Mexico to the Utah line, thence north on the Utah line to 
the Dolores River, thence east thru Colorado to the north 
line of Greeley county, and with the north line of Wichita, 
Scott, Lane, Ness, Rush, Barton, Rice, and McPherson, 
to the place of beginning. This District to be known as 
Southwestern Kansas, Southern Colorado, and No-Man's 
Land. All of Texas, Oklahoma, Indian Territory not in- 
cluded in the above districts, shall constitute the District 
of Texas, Oklahoma, and Southern Indian Territory. 

This report was submitted by S. Z. Sharp, Daniel Van- 
iman, and D. W. Stouder. All alterations made after this 
arrangement have been of rather minor importance. 

In harmony with the above report, in 1893 the name 
of the Northwestern district was changed from North- 
western Kansas and Colorado to Northwestern Kansas 
and Northern Colorado. In 1897, the Fort Collins and 
St. Vrain churches asked to be permitted to form all of 
Colorado into a district to be called the District of Colo- 
rado. This was deferred one year, when, at the request 
of the Grand Valley church, it was granted. In 1906, the 
Rocky Ford church asked Conference of Southwestern 
Kansas to be transferred along with the churches of 
Southern Colorado to the proposed District of Colorado, 
which request was granted, but at the petition of the same 
church in 1907, the change was never made. 


In 1908, it was proposed that Colorado Springs, Colo- 
rado City, and Manitou be transfered to Southwestern 
Kansas, "they being financially unable to help them." 
These points were missions and were too heavy a burden 
for the Northwestern district. The change proposed was 
not made. 

Some changes have occurred in connection with the 
Southwestern district. In 1895, Cowley county was as- 
signed to the Southeastern district. A petition was pre- 
sented at the same time from both the Ramona and the 
Peabody churches, asking that they be transferred to the 
Southwestern district. They were accepted subject to 
the approval of the district which they were leaving. 
This was subsequently given. Ramona, however, in 1902, 
begged to be released since Northeastern Kansas claimed 
her, no reason other than this being offered. This claim 
was allowed. The word "Oklahoma" was by Conference 
action (1905) dropped from the name of the district. In 
1901, Southeastern Kansas had acceded to a request from 
Oklahoma and Indian Territory to make the state line the 
district boundary between her territory and that of the 
district newly formed to the South. It was found in 1909, 
that the Miami, N. M., church was within the limits of no 
organized district, and at her request she was identified 
with Southwestern Kansas, her local boundaries being 
identical with those of Colfax county. 



IN 1859 John Humbargar and wife moved from Tipton, 
Iowa, and settled on Pipe Creek, four miles west of 
where Minneapolis now stands. Here they took a claim. 
The Indians proving hostile, they removed in time (1861) 
to a farm two miles southeast of Abilene, on the Smoky 
Hill river. In 1867, Jonas DeHaven, a minister, moved to 
the community from Iowa. He was the first Brethren min- 
ister in this part of the state. 

Soon after the coming of Bro. DeHaven there was a 
called meeting of the scattered members with a view to 
arranging for a preaching appointment. Services were 
accordingly started at the Shepherd school house. It ap- 
pears that Elder Isaac Hershey was present at the first 
council meeting, and that he also advised that they take 
steps toward organizing. In pursuance of this advice a love 
feast was held in the fall of 1869, at the home of John Hum- 
bargar, at which time and place the Abilene church was 
organized, with the following charter members: Jonas 
DeHaven and wife, John Humbargar and wife, Christian 
Mast and wife, and Christena DeHaven (later the wife of 
T. H. Davis). Whether John Humbargar was elected to 
the ministry at the organization of the church or in the 
year 1872, is a matter of uncertainty. 

The territory of the church was large. In 1876-1877, 
when the deacons made the annual visit to the members 
they were compelled to travel some five hundred miles to 
complete their mission, inasmuch as there were members 
in the counties of Dickinson, Lincoln, Saline, Ottawa, Cloud, 
and Clay. Indeed, a part of the visitation by the deacons 
was done by correspondence. 

In October, 1880, the congregation was divided. The 
members in Ottawa and Lincoln counties were organized 
as the Saline Valley church. The rest of the Abilene church 



was made into three congregations, Abilene, Fairview, and 
Chapman Creek. Fairview, however, because of its having 
so very few members, was soon restored to the mother con- 
gregation. In 1886, the Herington church was organized 
out of Abilene territory. In 1901, however, Herington was 
disorganized and the members assigned to Abilene. 

In 1883, some seven or eight members adhered to the 
Old Order Brethren. Three came back to the Conserva- 
tives but the remainder staid by the Old Order movement. 
Abraham Baer and George Maurer were the ministers who 
became Old Orders. 

Before 1889, several attempts to build a church were 
made but they all failed on account of a lack of unanimity 
as to the site and also the inability to secure funds. How- 
ever, Elder P. R. Wrightsman, founder of the town of 
Navarre, with his good wife, by the consent of the church, 
set about taking up subscriptions and soon secured almost 
enough to complete the building. This building, erected in 
1889, was located in Navarre. It was burned in the spring 
of 1917, but was soon rebuilt. In 1890, another building 
was erected in the west end of the congregation. It is 
called the Holland house. 

The official record of the Abilene church is a long one. 
Some of the ministers have been already noted. Of the 
other ministers who moved into the congregation the fol- 
lowing may be noted: Joseph M. Elliott (1877), Humphrey 
Talhelm (1877), John Forney (1880), George Maurer 
(1878), George S. Wine (1884), D. J. Shaffer (1882), J. D. 
Trostle (1884), Samuel Larkin (1883), Dr. T. J. Nair 
(1884), Christian Hope (1885), Samuel Furrey (1882), 
William Phillippi (1895), Benjamin Forney (1900), C. H. 
Brown (1899). The following have been elected to the min- 
istry by the Abilene church: John Humbargar (1869 or 
1872), Michael Forney (June, 1874), Abraham Baer 
(August 25, 1875), Jesse Shick (1890), A. Shatto (May 7, 
1892), George Manon (October 17, 1889), John F. Hantz 
(1892), Charles A. Shank (May, 1896), J. O. Rock (May, 
1899), Luther Shatto (May, 1899), John Burkholder (May, 
1899), and J. E. Keller (1885). The following ordinations 
have taken place: John Humbargar (June, 1874), George 
Maurer (October, 1879), Samuel Furrey, and George Manon 
(May 16, 1897). The following list of deacons elected is 


perhaps almost complete: Benjamin Horner, Michael For- 
ney, Abraham Baer, S. A. Sutter, T. H. Davis, George K. 
Sappington, Jesse Shick, and Henry Mauchley. Among the 
elders who have been in charge of the congregation are John 
Humbargar, J. D. Trostle, C. H. Brown, and George Manon. 
Brother Manon has served since about 1900. 

The Abilene church has three houses of worship. The 
ones at Holland and at Navarre have already been men- 
tioned. Some years ago Jacob Brown, a well to do mem- 
ber, purchased for the use of the Abilene city members the 
Seventh Day Advent church building located on Fifth 
street. There are probably twenty-five members in the city. 
There are about fifty members at Holland and perhaps 
twenty at Gypsum. Elder Manon has the church in charge 
but C. A.' Shank has been serving as pastor at Navarre until 
recently, and John Burkholder at Holland. 0. H. Feiler of 
Hutchinson took charge at Navarre a few'months ago. The 
Holland Sunday School, under W. A. Maurer, is recognized 
as one of the very best schools in Dickinson county. 

Abilene church has been peopled largely by members 
from Pennsylvania and Virginia. The emigration has been 
chiefly to North Dakota and Iowa. 


This church is located one and one-half miles east and 
one-quarter north of the town of Altamont, in Labette 
county. The organization is the successor to the old Labette 
congregation, one of the oldest and strongest in south- 
eastern Kansas. The name was changed from Labette to 
Altamont on December 21, 1901. 

There were Brethren in and about Altamont in the 
early days. C. H. Kingery, a minister, came from Carroll 
county, Indiana, in 1877. For some time in the early 
eighties, Noah Oren, now an elder in the Carthage, Mis- 
souri, church, conducted a grocery store and meat market. 
Nicholas Trapp, an elder, was proprietor of a store. Another 
brother was a hotel keeper. Before the erection of the 
church, services were held in the town school house and the 
Rosedale school house, two and one-half miles northeast of 
Altamont. The church was dedicated on November 25, 
1900, by Elder W. B. Sell. 

On November 4, 1903, Elder E. E. Joyce came from 


Barron, Wisconsin, and took charge of the congregation. 
There were but fourteen members at that time. The work, 
however, began to grow. In December, 1903, Elder D. W. 
Bowman moved into the congregation. He died at this 
place (October 30, 1906). On May 20, 1905, O. O. Kirkham 
was elected to the ministry. A membership of sixty-one 
was soon reached. 

But there were great losses of members, various causes 
contributing to that end. The M. K. and T. shops at Par- 
sons attracted a number of brethren. In 1907, a failure of 
crops discouraged many and they left the country. During 
that year, sixteen were dismissed by letter. From 1907 
to 1917 there was an aggregate loss by letter of fifty-one 
members. In 1917 there was a membership of twenty-seven. 
The lowest figure ever reached was in 1912, when it was 
eighteen. At present (1920), Byron Talhelm is the resident 
minister. He was ordained here on December 13, 1914, by 
Elders J. S. Clark and W. H. Miller. 

At various times the oversight of the Altamont church 
has been held by such men as S. Hodgden, C. H. Kingery, 
W. B. Sell, N. Trapp, S. Beery, E. E. Joyce, J. S. Clark, Byron 
Talhelm, and W. H. Miller. 


In 1906, there were but two members of the Church of 
the Brethren living in Altoona, in Wilson county — Brother 
and Sister Chas. W. Brigner. The doctrine of the Brethren 
was practically unknown. It was in that year, however, 
that Elder W. B. Sell of Fredonia held revival services in the 
Advent church in Altoona. Twenty persons were baptized 
as a result of his efforts. 

The Altoona church was organized on April 30, 1911, 
out of the Fredonia church territory, Elders J. S. Clark of 
Parsons and Andrew Neher of McCune having the work in 
charge. Blanche Button was elected clerk. F. E. Button 
was the minister and Joel Varner and Frank Boggs were 
deacons. J. S. Clark was chosen elder in charge and W. B. 
Sell foreman. In October, 1911, twenty-eight members were 
reported as constituting the organization. They were mostly 
from Virginia, Indiana, Missouri and various places in 

In 1911, Elder Sell preached two sermons a month in 
the Kelly school house, three miles and a half west of 



Altoona, and four a month in the town of Altoona itself. 
In the summer of 1911, he had an appointment at the Clark 
school house. Early in 1912, Elder J. F. Campbell of Par- 
sons preached in the Bell school house, four miles northeast 
of Altoona, many at this place hearing the Brethren doctrine 
now for the first time. 

On October 15, 1911, F. E. Button was advanced to the 
second degree of the ministry. On February 10, 1912, J. S. 


Clark, on account of sickness, resigned the oversight and 
F. G. Edwards succeeded. 

But difficulties arose in the Fredonia congregation 
which were destined to make themselves felt at Altoona. 
Elder W. B. Sell, well known for many years in Southeastern 
Kansas, was disciplined by the Fredonia church through a 
committee from Annual Conference, and although restored 
(November 12, 1912), to membership, was not admitted 
again to the ministrial office. Finally, the Altoona Brethren 
became disaffected, appealed to Sell to come over to their 


church to preach, and promised that if he would organize a 
Progressive Brethren church they would join in with him. 
He complied with their request and all of the Altoona mem- 
bers, with the exception of possibly four or five, became 
Progressives. In 1916, Brother Button and family were 
disowned by the Altoona congregation, after having united 
with the Progressives. The church was never formally dis- 
organized. The congregation never possessed a house of 
worship but made use of the Advent church building. The 
District Conference of 1917 placed the whole matter of the 
Altoona church in the hands of a committee consisting of 
R. W. Quakenbush and S. E. Lantz. 

One minister was elected by this congregation ; namely, 
Chas. W. Brigner (1912). There was one ordination — F. E. 
Button (1913). The following served in turn as elder in 
charge: J. S. Clark, F. G. Edwards, W. H. Miller, F. E. 
Button, and M. E. Stair. 


Brethren George W. Studebaker and D. W. Stouder held 
some meetings in the latter eighties in the Gravel Hill 
school house, northwest of Gridley, in Coffey county, and 
several were baptized as a result of their efforts. Monthly 
appointments were then established. 

On Saturday, November 9, 1889, brethren Studebaker 
and Stouder met with the members and with their unani- 
mous consent effected an organization known as Antioch, 
with a charter membership of sixteen. Adam S. Downing 
was elected to the ministry and William Wheeler to the 
office of deacon. Brother Stouder was chosen elder in charge. 
The membership of the new congregation and its territory 
formerly belonged to the Scott Valley and Verdigris 
churches. Among the pioneer members were Adam S. 
Downing and wife, William S. Wheeler and wife, John Miller 
and wife, Brother Roby and wife, Brother Feasel and wife, 
Brother and Sister Shower, and Brother Barnett. 

The church prospered. A revival held by Chas. M. 
Yearout in the winter following the organization (February 
25-March 10, 1890) netted the new church sixteen members, 
making a total of thirty-two. This occurred at the Gravel 
Hill school house. Trouble came, however, and the church 
was disorganized, the members being assigned to the Ver- 


digris and Scott Valley congregations. Brethren Yearout 
and Stouder continued to give them meetings, nevertheless. 
Finally, the members became dissatisfied with their dis- 
organized condition and at their request a reorganization 
was effected (November 17, 1892). 

On September 13, 1893, S. L. Elrod and Elliott Wheeler 
were elected to the ministry and Brother Yearout became 
presiding elder, preaching three sermons a month. The 
membership increased to fifty or more. In 1896, however, 
Brother Yearout gave up his charge and moved to Cedar 
Rapids, Iowa. 

The members now began to scatter. Many moved into 
other congregations and some left the church entirely, but 
the larger number remained true to their calling in their 
new fields of labor. At the District Conference of 1904, the 
church was reported disorganized. 

(Including Eight Mile) 

It is just after the Civil War that we first hear of mem- 
bers of the Church of the Brethren within the limits of 
what later became Eight Mile and still later Appanoose. 
There were a few near Ottawa, among them the families 
of John Eshelman, Jacob Negley, and Jacob Fouts — all 
from Canton, Fulton county, Illinois. They were within 
the bounds of the Washington Creek congregation. In 1866, 
Elder Daniel Barnhart moved from Wabash county, Indiana, 
into what later became Eight Mile. 

The date of the organization of Eight Mile is not ob- 
tainable, but it was certainly before 1872. In 1871, Daniel 
B. Barnhart moved from Roanoke, Virginia, to Centropolis, 
and thus became one of the early members of the church. 
Of the early members at Eight Mile Brother Barnhart is 
able to recall the following names, many of them presum- 
ably charter members: Daniel Barnhart and wife, George 
Bowen and wife, John Michael and wife, Jacob Kaub and 
wife, John Kaub, Wash. Turner and wife, Brother Firestone 
and wife, David Barnhart and wife, Abraham Barnhart and 
wife, Isaac Barnhart and wife, and Jacob S. Keim and wife. 
These members were from Indiana, Virginia, Missouri, Illi- 
nois, and Pennsylvania. The congregation took its name 
from a nearby stream and school house. There was no 
church house and for that reason services were held in the 


early days in the school houses of Centennial, Kaub, Min- 
neola, and Eight Mile. The last named is located eight and 
one-half miles southeast of Overbrook. 

In the fall of 1880, the territory of Eight Mile was 
divided, the western part to become Appanoose and the east- 
ern to retain the original name. Daniel Barnhart was re- 
tained as elder of Eight Mile. This church dwindled away, 
apparently, the members being absorbed by the Ottawa 
church, placing their letters with Appanoose, or moving 
away. About eighteen of them subsequently identified 
themselves with the Old Orders, among that number Elder 
Daniel Barnhart. There is still an Old Order church in the 

Appanoose started out as a separate congregation with 
three ministers, D. B. Barnhart, Frederick Sherfy, and Will- 
iam M. Wise. J. S. Keim was elder in charge. There was 
a membership of seventy. In the spring of 1886, the Appa- 
noose church was built on the I. B. Garst farm, seven and 
one-half miles southeast of Overbrook. This building was 
remodeled in 1919, and on September 12, was rededicated 
by W. 0. Beckner, furnishing the congregation a convenient 
and commodious place of worship. 

In former years there was considerable preaching done 
in the neighboring school houses and other places, such as 
Boyd, Lyndon, Williamsburg, Knouff, Centropolis, North 
Pomona, Fairview, and Sampson. There are today a few 
isolated members where this preaching was done. 

The following have been elected to the ministry in the 
history of the congregation : Frederick Sherfy, William M. 
Wise, Samson Harshman (1880), Michael Montgomery, John 
Sherfy (October 4, 1884), I. B. Garst (October 23, 1886), 
C. W. Shoemaker (October 2, 1897), S. J. Heckman (May 
23, 1903), John M. Ward (October 7, 1906), and Earl Barn- 
hart (May 22, 1920) . The following have been ordained in 
the congregation: D. B. Barnhart (October 4, 1884), John 
Sherfy (May 7, 1893), C. T. Heckman (May 7, 1893), C. W. 
Shoemaker (October 7, 1906), S. J. Heckman (1913), and 
John M. Ward (May 22, 1920). The oversight has been 
held by Joseph Michael, S. S. Mohler, D. B. Barnhart, C. W. 
Shoemaker, and S. J. Heckman. Elder Barnhart served for 
many years. 

Of the many evangelists who have served the congrega- 


tion the following names are recalled: J. B. Lair, James 
E. Hilkey, I. L. Hoover, George Manon, R. A. Yoder, I. H. 
Crist, R. F. McCune, S. E. Thompson, J. S. Sherfy, C. M. 
Yearout, T. E. George, B. Forney, W. A. Kinzie, F. E. Mc- 
Cune, G. G. Canfield, and John R. Snyder. Under Elder 
Kinzie's preaching in 1911, there were some twenty-five 
converts, and in 1917, when the revival was held in the 
Kaub school house, there were fifty-five converts, many of 
them over thirty-five years of age. The average age was 
twenty-nine. Until the last few years the most of the acces- 
sions have been from members* families. 

Appanoose has felt the emigration movement to a con- 
siderable extent. Most of the members who have left have 
gone to Colorado or western Kansas. A number have gone 
to the Quinter congregation. In 1907 there were one 
hundred members. In 1919, there were between one hun- 
dred and forty and one hundred and fifty on the roll. 

(Formerly Silver Creek) 

There were members in Cowley county in the early 
seventies, for it was about 1874 when Jacob C. Ulrey of the 
Grenola (then Cana) church heard of a family of Brethren 
living to the west. So in company with A. L. Pottinger, 
Brother and Sister Ulrey started to make a visit to these 
isolated members. It was ten miles southwest of Winfield 
that they came upon the pioneer "shack" of James P. Boyd, 
a deacon, who with his wife and three children had lately 
moved in from northern Indiana. They were living in a 
room about twelve by fourteen. There was so little room 
that when the beds were being made the occupants of the 
house were compelled to retire out of doors, and the family 
was in such straitened 1 circumstances that when the good 
wife washed and ironed the children's clothing, the little 
ones were obliged to remain in bed. But how hospitable 
they were and how anxious they were for the companionship 
of the visiting members! 

On November 14, 1875, Jacob Troxel of Cerro Gordo, 
Illinois, a minister in the second degree, settled fourteen 
miles southwest of Winfield. There were but four mem- 
bers in the vicinity before his coming. By March, 1876, 
there were fourteen. It was therefore with a very small 
nucleus of membership that in the spring of 1876 the Silver 


Creek congregation was organized. Of the charter mem- 
bers the following names are now recalled : James P. Boyd 
and wife, Jacob Troxel and wife, and G. Bonebrake and 
wife. Jesse Studebaker of the Cedar Creek (now Mont 
Ida) church was present at the organization, as was also 
Jacob C. Ulrey. No officers were elected at the organ- 
ization, as far as can be learned. 

The church prospered. Rose Valley school house, about 
ten miles southeast of Winfield, was used as a place of wor- 
ship. In 1879, there were twenty-five members. They were 
enthusiastic in the cause. "We can boast of one thing," 
wrote John Easton, "that the nasty filthy tobacco sin is 
no more with the Brethren." Daniel Harader, a minister, 
moved into the congregation from Franklin county, Kansas, 
and did some very able preaching in the earlier days. His 
ordination occurred here. Ed. Prickett was another of the 
early ministers. Brother Harader was interested in what 
was called the "Dunkard Mill," located about eight miles 
north of Winfield on Walnut River. His father, Chris 
Harader, formerly of Quincy, Adams county, Iowa, and 
later of Newtonia, Missouri, was the proprietor of a flour 
mill south of town on Walnut River. He was an elder, and 
although he once identified himself with the Progressive 
Brethren, he was readmitted to the eldership on July 13, 
1895. He once made a gift of ten thousand dollars to the 
General Mission Board. He died on August 17, 1905. 

Silver Creek suffered immensely from the division of 
1881, although in 1882 there w T ere seventy-four members. 
On September 2, 1884, C. Harader wrote: "This church 
unanimously agreed to remain quiet until there was peace 
and quiet in the church. We believe in progression in the 
practice of the Bible and think retrogression is wrong. We 
therefore remain with and abide by the general brotherhood. 
This is the unanimous voice of the Silver Creek church. We, 
however, retain good feeling toward the progressive body, 
and don't wish to throw anything in their way, hoping the 
Lord will lead them into the way that is right." 

In 1887 Elder S. N. McCann spent some time laboring 
among the weaker churches of Kansas, after the Ottawa 
Conference. In September he reported that the Silver Creek 
church was practically "dead on account of unsettled 
troubles." D. Harader united with the Progressives and 


went to Oklahoma. The Troxel families went to Conway- 
Springs, and thus left without resident leaders, the church 
activities went from bad to worse. In 1902, there were only 
eighteen members. 

In 1905 an effort was made to resuscitate the work at 
Arkansas City. The district mission board of Southeastern 
Kansas secured the services of N. E. Baker of Corydon, 
Indiana, who was to take charge of the work and was to 
receive payment for his services when not engaged in 
secular work. He took charge on June 4, 1905. In 1907 
the use of the M. E. church was secured indefinitely and in 
May of that year Sister Pearl Stauff er was sent by the board 
to assist Brother Baker. On June 22, 1907, the name of 
the church was changed from Silver Creek to Arkansas 

As nearly as can be ascertained the following men have 
held the office of elder in charge of the congregation : Jesse 
Studebaker, W. B. Sell, C. Harader, J. J. Troxel, and W. H. 

Since the departure of Brother Baker some years ago, 
there has been little of interest in the Arkansas City church. 
It no longer appears on the records of district conference, 
although no formal disorganization has taken place, to the 
best knowledge of the author. 

The only election to the ministry of which a record is 
obtainable is that of Edward K. Masterson, who was called 
in August, 1896. Brother Masterson was graduated with 
the A.B. degree from McPherson College in 1902. He is 
now (1921) a minister in the Baptist church. 


There were at least two members of the Church of the 
Brethren in Butler county in 1882. They were A. D. Stone 
and Jacob P. Byerly, who lived at Keighley. From Novem- 
ber 10 to 24, 1882, Chas. M. Yearout preached at the Brown- 
low school house near Keighley. This was the first time 
that the Brethren had preached in the community, with 
the exception of two sermons preached previous to that 
time. Later Bro. Yearout preached three sermons at the 
Keighley school house. There were then four members at 
Keighley. By the winter of 1884-1885, there were fourteen 
converts at Keighley — all the results of Bro. Yearout's 


labors. In September, 1885, John Harshbarger of Girard, 
Illinois, moved to Augusta. 

The Augusta church (sometimes called Butler county) 
was organized in 1886, with perhaps fifty members, many 
of them from Virginia. John Wise was the first elder in 
charge. A church was built in town in 1886. Preaching 
was done by Brethren Harshbarger and James Thomas. 
They, however, soon moved away and the congregation was 
left without a minister. The Mission Board of the district 
supplied the members with preaching for a while, services 
being held by Enoch Eby, Frank H. Bradley and William 
Johnson. Finally, however, owing to the moving away of 
so many members the work was abandoned. The church 
was disorganized, the building was sold to the Methodist 
church (South), and the members who remained were as- 
signed to the Wichita church. One minister was elected 
by the Augusta church — A. L. Snoeberger, who was called 
in the summer of 1890. 


It is probable that what was originally known as the 
east arm of the Belleville church, in Republic county, was 
organized on May 23, 1872, some where in Farmington 
township. Of the early members in this part of the county 
the following names are preserved: Robert Edwards and 
wife, Bro. Jordan and wife, William G. Owens and wife, 
Samuel Edwards and wife, Riley Alderman, Jane Alderman, 
John Hix and wife, Samuel Zellison and wife, Eliza Edwards, 
Richard Miller and wife, and Nathan Miller and wife. In 
1873, Elder S. C. Stump held a series of meetings on Mill 
Creek near the site of the present town of Cuba. Soon 
thereafter, Michael Forney followed with another effort. 
These meetings added materially to the strength of the 
new church. 

In August, 1880, Lemuel Hillery, a minister, located five 
miles southwest of Belleville. In the autumn of the same 
year, perhaps the same month, the Belleville church was 
organized at the home of William Gooch, three and one- 
half miles southwest of town. The charter members were 
Louisa Williams, Sarah Daggett, Lemuel Hillery and wife, 
Kate Gooch, Chester F. Daggett, Nellie Daggett, Susan 
Wise, Mary Gooch, Carrie Gooch and Rufus Hillery and 


wife. Elders Allen Ives and Henry Brubaker were present 
at the organization. 

Before the erection of the church house various school 
houses were used for public worship, among them the Wells 
school house, three and a quarter miles southwest of Belle- 
ville, and the Poplar Grove school house, eight and one-half 
miles southwest of town. The church, dedicated on October 
25, 1885, by Elder J. D. Trostle, is situated on the Lemuel 
Hillery farm, five miles southwest of Belleville. It was on 
the dedication day that the first offering was taken for the 
purpose of buying for Elder Christian Hope, first Brethren 
foreign missionary, a home in America. The first love feast 
was held in the new church on the evening before the dedica- 
tion services. On March 14, 1902, the church was destroyed 
by a tornado but it was rebuilt on the same site. Dedication 
took place on May 10, 1903. 

Several ministers of importance have made their homes 
in the Belleville church. From 1884 to 1887, M. M. Eshel- 
man, former editor of the Brethren at Work, lived at Belle- 
ville. In 1887 he became connected with McPherson Col- 
lege. For five or six years after 1892 Chas. S. Hillery was 
a minister here. From 1892, for several years, C. S. Hol- 
singer, formerly of Lacon, Illinois, was prominent in the 
work of this church. Lemuel Hillery was widely known 
throughout the Brotherhood. Belleville is also the boyhood 
home of the lamented J. H. B. Williams, who, as represen- 
tative of the General Mission Board, passed away and lies 
buried in British East Africa. 

The membership at Belleville has fluctuated consider- 
ably. The largest number ever on the roll (perhaps one 
hundred) was in about 1901. On December 10, 1902, a large 
party of members, led by C. S. Holsinger, left Belleville for 
California on the first colonist train ever run to that state. 
The people took with them their household goods, stock, and 
farming implements. They located at Lillis, California. 

The following men have been called to the ministry 
by the Belleville church: William Lugenbeel (1876?), 
Daniel Smith (November 26, 1881), A. C. Daggett (Decem- 
ber 29, 1886), D. R. Holsinger (October 13, 1894), Chester 
F. Daggett (June 3, 1899), J. H. B. Williams (September 23, 
1903), George G. Canfield (May 21, 1910), W. Warren Gish 
(March 7, 1914), and Roscoe P. Baker (March 7, 1914). The 


following have been ordained: Lemuel Hillery (November 
26, 1881), A. C. Daggett (June 3, 1899), and Chester F. 
Daggett (December 3, 1904). The church has been under 
the care of the follownig elders: Lemuel Hillery, M. M. 
Eshelman, C. S. Holsinger, Samuel Henry, A. C. Daggett, 
D. A. Crist, E. D. Steward, C. F. Daggett. 

In recent years the membership at Belleville has been 
declining. It is now (1920) about fifty. Emigration has 
been to Colorado, California, and other places. The pres- 
ent ministerial force (1920) consists of C. F. Daggett, Oli- 
ver Westrick, and John H. Oxley. The last named is an 
ordained elder and has been pastor of the church since the 
spring of 1919. 

(Pratt County) 

In the early days of the nineties there were several 
members of the Elm Creek congregation, at Mingona, in 
Barber county, living in the southern part of Pratt county. 
When the membership of Elm Creek declined, these mem- 
bers desired an organization of their own. Bethel first ap- 
pears in the District Conference records in 1893. There 
were then twenty-three members, with one minister and 
four appointments. Appointments were held every two 
weeks at the Clark school house, for several years, and 
here it was that the organization took place. 

Preaching was soon arranged for at other places, two 
of them being Sand Creek and the town of Sawyer. Joseph 
Glick and N. F. Brubaker did the preaching. The latter 
moved away in about 1894, however. Henry Miller was 
elected a deacon at Bethel. J. H. Shamberger was elected 
to the ministrj^ in September, 1895. He was ordained on 
October 21, 1899. 

Emigration — the same force that depleted Elm Creek 
— wrought havoc with Bethel. Although some small gains 
were made in membership, the bad years of the early nine- 
ties scattered the few members. From 1893 to 1895, the 
membership dropped from twenty-three to fourteen. Emi- 
gration to Illinois and Oklahoma set in and depleted Bethel 
to the point of dissolution. In 1901, it was reported dis- 

Among those who had the church in charge at various 


times were John Wise, Z. Henricks, and J. H. Shamberger. 
The last named was chosen elder on March 10, 1900, and he 
continued to hold services even after the formal disorganiza- 
tion of the church. The Murdock church now includes in 
its territory the former Bethel church. 


(Part of Quinter Congregation) 

In 1901, R. S. Thompson and wife came from Warrens- 
burg, Missouri, and located somewhere between Spica, 
Thomas county, and Oakley, Logan county. They at once 
started a Sunday School in a school house near Spica. There 
were no members closer than at Quinter, thirty miles away. 

Soon thereafter T. Ezra George of Quinter began going 
over to preach in the community, making monthly trips. 
In about 1907 two more, Brother and Sister Bogart, united 
with the church. In the spring of 1908, C. S. Hoff of the 
Victor church, Osborne county, moved into the neighbor- 
hood for the express purpose of building up a church. On 
June 7, 1908, Bro. Hoff baptized two ladies. In December, 
1908, Bro. George preached a while and Bro. Hoff baptized 
one sister. Again, on June 1, 1909, as the result of a series 
of twenty-three sermons by Bro. George, three were bap- 

Soon after moving into the community Bro. Hoff began 
holding regular appointments twice a Sunday in the Ante- 
lope Valley school house, three miles west of Spica. Soon 
there was a mid-week Bible study class. Many members 
drove ten miles across the prairies to attend these meetings. 
In the spring of 1909, six members moved in and two more 
in 1910. In November, 1910, A. C. Root held a two weeks' 
series of meetings, five persons being converted as a result. 

There were now twenty-two members in all and in 
May, 1910, a church building was erected one-half mile west 
of Spica. Attendance and interest grew very encouragingly 
until the crop failure of 1911, when the members began to 
move away. They kept going until in 1914, the family of 
Bro. Hoff was the only one left. Left thus with an empty 
church, Bro. Hoff, by the advice of his trustees sold the 
church building to a farmer and paid the proceeds back 
pro rata to the donors. The building had never been finished 
or dedicated. 

The Bethel church was never organized as a separate 


body but was a mission point of the Quinter church. But 
in 1909, the election of two deacons was authorized and 
Charles Bogart and William Boyer were chosen to that 


We first hear of members at Bloom, in Ford county, in 
August, 1908, although there had been for some time some 
Brethren living at a distance from that place. Two families 
were located about fifteen miles north and one twenty-five 
miles southwest. But in the year and month named, Emry 
Martin and wife (nee Cassie Weddle), and L. C. Weddle and 
family moved into the community from Larned, Kansas. 
The next year more members came. G. W. Weddle and 
family, and his nephew, Norman E. Weddle and family, set- 
tled near Bloom, while A. C. Keller and wife located twelve 
miles southwest, near Minneola. All of these members came 
from the Larned (country) congregation. Elder G. W. 
Weddle is a native of Virginia, and formerly lived in the 
Cottonwood, McPherson, and Larned congregations. 

Largely through the efforts of Elder Weddle steps were 
taken to organize the members. Accordingly, on March 5, 
1910, the members met at the elder's home with Elders John 
E. Crist and G. W. Weddle in charge. The Bloom church 
was then organized. The following were the charter mem- 
bers: G. W. Weddle and wife, Emry Martin and wife, 
Jenoris Ott and wife, Charley Weddle, Cecil Thomas, John 
Ott, Henry Cummings and wife, and Ethel Winslow. Bro. 
Martin was made a deacon at the organization. The first 
love feast was held in the spring of 1910, in a school house 
near Bloom. 

Members were added from time to time. In 1910, five 
were added by letter and one by baptism. In 1911, ten were 
added. Five were lettered out in 1911, however. In 1912, 
four were received by letter. In 1913, six were added by 
letter and four by baptism. From 1910 to April, 1919, forty- 
eight had been baptized and forty-two had been received by 
letter. Forty-four letters had been granted. The member- 
ship in April, 1919, was forty-five. A revival held by O. H. 
Austin and wife in December, 1920, resulted in twenty-four 

From 1911 to 1913, Bloom was the home of Elder C. D. 
Hylton and family of Virginia. Elder Hylton engaged in 


the business of a grain dealer and made himself generally- 
useful to the Brethren in Kansas, but the ties of the Old 
Dominion were too strong and the family finally moved back 
to Troutville, Va. 

The erection of a church building in the town of Bloom 
was begun in the fall of 1910. The church was completed 
the next spring and dedication services took place on April 
2, 1911, Elder John E. Crist preaching the sermon. 

From 1913 to 1916, Harvey M. Brubaker, who lived on 
a farm near Minneola, served as a minister in this congrega- 
tion. While here (March 6, 1915) he was ordained by 
Elders A. F. Miller and G. W. Weddle. Leaving Bloom in 
1916, Elder Brubaker completed his college course at Mc- 
Pherson College, after which he spent three months in the 
evangelistic field. He is now pastor of a Brethren church 
in Idaho. During these same years, John W. Deeter 
was principal of the Bloom schools and Sister Deeter taught 
in the grades. Bro. Deeter made himself useful in the min- 
istry. In the fall of 1915, he left the West to spend three 
years in the School of Religion in Yale University. He is 
now (1920) a member of the faculty of McPherson College. 

The most influential member of the congregation is 
Elder G. W. Weddle, a man of means and one endowed with 
great vision. He is a friend of every good movement and 
evinces great tact as an elder. He is one of the most sub- 
stantial friends of McPherson College. His son-in-law, Emry 
Martin, in 1915, became a trustee of the college. 

The congregation early felt the need of a pastor and 
satisfied that need in the spring of 1917 by calling to the 
pastorate Elder John S. Sherfy, formerly of Parsons, Kan- 
sas. Elder Sherfy is a brother of Elder Ernest F. Sherfy, 
has studied at McPherson College and at Bethany Bible 
School, and served in 1914, on the Standing Committee of 
Annual Conference. He is a man of energy and devotion to 
his task. 


The first members to locate near Brazilton, in Crawford 
county, were J. W. Wampler and family, who came in Feb- 
ruary, 1884. They were within the bounds of the Osage 
church. Members who came later were T. A. Robinson and 
family, W. H. Miller and family, Chas. A. Miller and wife, 
A. L. Boyd and family, and Bro. Stone and family. Since 


these members were eleven miles north of the main body 
of the church, in about 1894, services began to be held in 
the Mills school house, two miles west and one mile south 
of Brazilton. This house was used for services about one 
year. Then fc five years the Brazilton school house was 

The year 1898 found about twenty members in the 
neighborhood. A. L. Boyd and T. A. Robinson were the 
ministers and J. W. Wampler was a deacon. Bro. Boyd had 
been called to the ministry in the Walnut Valley congrega- 
tion in Barton county (June 18, 1892) and early in 1898, 
he was ordained to the eldership by the Osage church. 
After securing a grant of territory from the Osage church, 
on June 18, 1898, the Brethren at Brazilton met at the 
Mills school house and perfected an organization. A. L. 
Boyd became elder in charge, which office he held until 
October, 1900. For a while the church prospered very 
much, but the community was so strongly Roman Catholic 
that there could be no future for the Brethren. 

In October, 1900, Elder Boyd moved to Cordell, Okla., 
to serve the church at that place. Here he remained eigh- 
teen years. Thus, the members began to scatter, many 
going to adjoining congregations. Eventually, the church 
was disorganized and the few remaining members were as- 
signed to the Osage church. 

The church never owned a building. But one minister 
was called by the congregation — S. P. Crumpacker, who was 
elected on December 15, 1900. He is now an ordained elder, 
living at McPherson. He is a brother of Dr. Frank H. 
Crumpacker of China. 


In the spring of 1871, Allen Ives, a minister in the sec- 
ond degree, with his wife Polly, came, along with their 
daughters and sons-in-law, Jacob Sherman and John E. 
Faidley, from Marshalltown, Iowa, and settled where Burr 
Oak creek empties into White Rock creek — the site of the 
present town of Burr Oak. Bro. Ives took a claim in the 
valley. The first dwelling house in Burr Oak was erected 
by J. E. Faidley, who for several years kept the only store 
in the village. Bro. Ives delivered the first sermon ever 
preached in Burr Oak. 


On August 15, 1871, James L. Switzer and wife left 
Johnson county, Iowa, in search of a location in Kansas. 
Taking a homestead in Jewell county, they returned to Iowa, 
but finally moved back to Jewell county on June 17, 1872, 
locating on the headwaters of the middle branch of Marsh 
Creek, in Sinclair township. Once located, Bro. Switzer 
advertised his whereabouts in the Christian Family Com- 
panion. This soon led to a visit from Bro. Ives, and a friend- 
ship sprang up that was destined to last for many years to 
come while these two were colaborers on the frontier. It 
happened that about the same time these two families set- 
tled in Kansas, James M. Bailey and wife settled about 
fifteen miles northwest of where Burr Oak now is, in the 
White Rock valley. 

The Burr Oak church was organized, according to the 
best authority, in 1872. Elder Samuel C. Stump was pres- 
ent. The territory covered by the church was so large that 
on June 20, 1874, a division was necessary. On that day 
the Solomon Valley congregation, composed of the members 
living in Osborne county, was separated from Burr Oak. 
The same day Allen Ives was ordained by Elders Stump and 
John Forney and was given oversight of the new church. 

About the last of July, 1874, the great grasshopper 
scourge began. Its ravages are mentioned elsewhere in this 
book. Suffice it to say here that Elder Ives and Bro. Switzer 
were particularly active in dispensing aid to the needy. The 
progress of the church was not materially hampered by the 
grasshoppers. Indeed, on June 9, 1877, a church council 
saw fit to divide the congregation again. In this division 
it was provided that the western part of the congregation 
was to retain the name Burr Oak and the eastern part was 
to take the name White Rock. Allen Ives became elder in 
charge of the former and J. L. Switzer of the latter. In 
the fall of 1877, the district conference of the large district 
of Northern Kansas and Southern Nebraska was held in a 
frame school house in Burr Oak. Elder N. B. Wagoner of 
Red Cloud, Nebraska, says that so far as he knows this 
was the first ever held in the district. 

On March 23, 1895, a final division of Burr Oak territory 
occurred when its members in Nebraska were organized at 
the home of N. B. Wagoner into the Red Cloud congrega- 
tion by Elders Eli Renner and J. J. Kindig. 


The official record of Burr Oak is as follows : Ministers 
elected: James M. Bailey (1875), P. B. Porter (1875), 
George Montgomery (June, 1877), Lawrence Garman (June, 
1877), H. P. Brinkworth (1876), H. E. Faidley (1876), C. E. 
Parker (June, 1*77), George Benton (June, 1877), Noah B. 
Wagoner (October 1, 1882), Daniel W. Bowman (April 8, 
1893), John J. Ernst (March 29, 1902), and Ray S. Wagoner 
(May 26, 1918). Ordinations have been as follows: Allen 
Ives (June 20, 1874), J. L. Switzer (1875), Eli Renner (Feb- 
ruary 1, 1882), Jacob Armsberger (February 1, 1882), 
Powell B. Porter (August 30, 1883), Daniel W. Bowman 
(September 12, 1901) . On September 15, 1880, Bro. Switzer 
voluntarily gave up the office of the eldership. The follow- 
ing have had the oversight of the church : Allen Ives (Janu- 
ary 26, 1888-March 30, 1890), John Hollinger (March 30, 
1890-May 28, 1892), Eli Renner (May 28, 1892-July 28, 
1894), P. B. Porter (July 28, 1894-October 17, 1896), S. L. 
Myers (October 17, 1896-October 27, 1900), Jacob Sloniker 
(October 27, 1900-April 3, 1909), C. F. Daggett (April 3, 
1909-December 18, 1909), T. E. George (December 18, 1909- 
April 10, 1915), Ira B. Wagoner (April 10, 1915- August 18, 
1917), A. C. Daggett (August 18, 1917-May 16, 1918), 
G. O. Stutzman (May 16, 1918-1919), George W. Burgin 
(1920- ). 

The pastors who have been employed by the Burr Oak 
congregation are T. Ezra George, Ira B. Wagoner, Clarence 
E. Schrock, G. O. Stutzman, and G. W. Burgin. Bro. Stutz- 
man began as pastor May 1, 1918, and served one year, being 
succeeded by Elder Burgin. 

Among the ministers who moved into the congregation 
in the years of the past may be mentioned the names of 
Jacob Armsberger, Harrison Palmer, T. E. George, Aaron 
Fike, M. M. Eshelman, and Christian Forney. 

The Progressive movement of the early eighties took 
a small portion of the membership. Three ministers of the 
congregation identified themselves with that movement. 
They were Jacob Armsberger, Hiram E. Faidley, and Chris- 
tian Forney. 

The Burr Oak church, situated in the town of Burr 
Oak, was built in 1885. It was dedicated on December 20, 
1885, by Elder M. M. Eshelman. 



Chanute is an arm of the old Neosho congregation, 
which was organized in May, 1871. In the spring of 1904, 
when F. G. Edwards came from Lebo, Kansas, to Chanute, 
he found some fourteen members, three of whom were 
ministers, in the city. The ministers were A. G. Leslie, Eli 
Leslie, and Emanuel Miller. These members had begun to 
hold a sort of Sunday School in the homes of the members 
and of others where they were invited to hold such services. 
Usually at each service there was a short talk by one of 
the ministers. When Brother Edwards came to Chanute 
he was encouraged to buy a home and to help start a mis- 

Soon after he located, a union mission building was 
erected on the corner of Fifteenth and Highland streets. 
Through the Brethren's participating in the union Sunday 
School they became known in the community. About four 
times a year, Elder M. 0. Hodgden of Galesburg, the elder 
of the Neosho church, would meet with the Chanute mem- 
bers. At one of these meetings the work of the Brethren 
took on the name of the "Chanute Mission" and plans were 
made for the erection of a building. This was in the fall 
of 1904. Money was needed but as it was not to be had 
from the District Mission Board at this time, the Chanute 
members solved the difficulty by simply doubling their own 
subscriptions. In December, 1904, a lot was bought on the 
corner of Sixteenth street and Santa Fe avenue. The two 
Leslies and Brother Edwards were carpenters and in time 
the building was completed. The church was dedicated on 
June 10, 1906, Elder E. M. Wolfe preaching the dedicatory 

Elder Hodgden organized the Chanute members for 
work. The charter members were Eli Leslie, wife, and 
adopted daughter, A. G. Leslie and wife, Susan Peters, John 
Horton, Sister McMillen, Eliza Davis, Daniel Leslie and wife, 
and F. G. Edwards and wife. Some of the earlier members 
had by this time moved away. In the summer of 1906, 
several Brethren families moved to Chanute, thus causing 
added prosperity in the newly organized congregation. 
Among those who were baptized was J. B. Denny, a young 
Baptist minister, who was subsequently in the Independence 
church elected to the ministry of the Brethren church. 


Trouble crept into the church, however, and the elder 
called on the District Mission Board to investigate the situa- 
tion. This was done with the result that both of the Leslie 
families and two other heads of families withdrew from the 
church and organized a Progressive Brethren congregation. 
Eli Leslie built a frame building near Eighteenth Street 
and Highland Avenue, which was used for a church. The 
organization lasted about two years and then disbanded. 
Some of the members came back to the Church of the 
Brethren and others scattered. Thus, the work of the 
Chanute church was crippled. In the fall of the same year, 
Elder Hodgden died and W. H. Miller succeeded in the elder- 

On December 30, 1907, J. H. Holloway was elected to 
the ministry. A. G. Leslie was soon restored to fellowship 
and he was again called to the ministry. Finally, on June 
28, 1914, he was, at his own request, relieved of church 
membership. In December, 1907, George R. Eller became 
elder in charge. By this time the membership had in- 
creased to about twenty-five. In December, 1908, W. C. 
Watkins succeeded to the oversight of the church. 

From the fall of 1909 to March 16, 1914, Brother 
Edwards and family lived in Ottawa and the work of the 
ministry devolved upon Brethren Holloway and Leslie. In 
December, 1909, J. S. Clark became elder in charge, serving 
two years in that capacity. In 1911, there were about six- 
teen members. On December 24, 1911, Amos Wampler suc- 
ceeded to the eldership. The Mission Board of Southeastern 
Kansas, on March 1, 1913, sent John S. Sherfy to take 
charge of Chanute as pastor, although he was not permitted 
to devote his whole time to the work of this one church. 
Brother Sherfy took the oversight of the church on April 
17, 1913. 

D. H. Heckman became pastor on January 1, 1917, and 
during his pastorate the membership was substantially in- 
creased by the addition of several young people. In 1917, 
there were thirty-two members. This is the largest figure 
ever reached up to that time. Brother Heckman left in the 
spring of 1918, to take up church work in the Verdigris 
church, at Madison, Kansas. 

In November, 1919, the church experienced a great 
revival, held by J. B. Denny of Independence, in which 


there were twenty converts. W. H. Miller served as elder 
in charge from January 1, 1918, to June 1, 1919, when he 
was succeeded by Elias M. Reed, who is the present (1920) 
elder in charge. 


In the early seventies there were Brethren living north- 
east of Abilene and holding membership in the Abilene 
church. Two of the earliest families to locate here were 
those of Michael Forney (son of John Forney) and Abra- 
ham Baer, formerly of Adams county, Pennsylvania. They 
lived some six miles northeast of town. The Abilene church 
called both of these brethren to the ministry and they exer- 
cised in that office in their home neighborhood, preaching 
at various school houses, among others, Oak Hill, Living- 
stone, Hardesty, Rock, Cheever and Center Buckeye. 

In October, 1880, the Abilene church was divided into 
four congregations. Out of its territory the Chapman 
Creek church was organized in a tent at the home of Abra- 
ham Baer. The charter members were Elder John Forney, 
Abraham Baer and wife, J. N. Shick and wife, S. Haugh 
and wife, Benjamin Forney and wife, Jacob Brown and wife, 
Sister D. Eichholtz, J. Hardesty, David Lake and wife, 
William Lake and wife, E. Sargent and wife, and Henry 
Yirks and wife. 

Much of the history of the church is not obtainable. 
For many years Chapman Creek was the home of Elder 
John Forney, so widely known in the Brotherhood. Immi- 
gration came in largely from Pennsylvania, Illinois, Iowa 
and Nebraska. Larger numbers were added, however, by 
baptism than by immigration. Probably sixty per cent of 
the additions were by baptism. In the period from 1885 
to 1895, the membership reached about one hundred. The 
tide of emigration to Oklahoma and California materially 
reduced this number. In 1920 the membership was about 
forty. The Old Order movement of the eighties caused a 
loss of six members, one of them being Abraham Baer. 

The church building was erected in 1885. It is located 
on the southeast corner of section 35, Cheever township, 
two and one-half miles east and nine miles north of Abi- 

Of the ministers elected at Chapman Creek the fol- 


lowing names are available: S. Haugh (1880), George K. 
Sappington (1880), Benjamin Forney (June, 1883), J. S. 
Baumbaugh (1890), Moses Zigler (1891), C. C. Brown (June 
1, 1895), George H. Bashor (1896), and John A. Strohm 
(November 11, 1908). The following have been ordained: 
S. Haugh (1888), J. F. Hantz (June 14, 1896), and Ben- 
jamin Forney (June 14, 1896). The following elders have 
held the oversight: John Forney (1880-1890), S. Haugh 
(1890-1892), A. M. Dickey (1892-1894), C. H. Brown (1895- 
1897), B. Forney and J. F. Hantz (1897-1900), J. F. Hantz 
(1900-1909), J. H. Cakerice (1909-1912), D. A. Crist (1913- 
1914), I. L. Hoover (1915-1918), E. D. Steward (1918-1920), 
and U. S. Brillhart (1920- ). In years gone by evange- 
listic services have been held by such evangelists as George 
Maurer, A. L. Pearsall, C. C. Root, P. R. Wrightsman, S. Z. 
Sharp, J. S. Mohler, John Humbargar, J. E. Young, J. D. 
Trostle, C. H. Brown, A. C. Daggett, and E. D. Steward. 


It is probable that the Cherokee church was once in- 
cluded within the territory of the old Fly Creek congrega- 
tion in Cherokee county. Just when Fly Creek was organ- 
ized is uncertain, but Cherokee was organized on April 8, 
1882, at the Liberty school house, fourteen miles northwest 
of Columbus, Elder George W. Studebaker presiding at the 
organization. The new congregation was formed out of the 
Osage church. 

The first member to settle in the locality was Jacob 
Gripe. In 1881, Henry Shideler bought a farm two miles 
southeast of Monmouth. In the spring of 1882, Elder 
George W. Studebaker, late of the Mississinewa church, 
Indiana, moved to Columbus, Cherokee county. At the 
organization above mentioned it was voted unanimously to 
remain Conservative. Among the charter members were 
Jacob Gripe and wife, Samuel Edgecomb and wife, Jacob 
Appleman and wife, N. S. Gripe and wife, Solomon Eby and 
wife, James Adamson and wife, Samuel Rench and wife, 
and Henry Shideler and wife. Brethren Appleman and 
Edgecomb were ministers in the second degree, Brother 
Shideler in the first degree, and Brother Adamson was a 
deacon. Brother Shideler was elected clerk and retained 
that position until the disorganization of the congregation. 



In the fall of 1882, Elder Studebaker moved to Fre- 
donia and this necessitated that some one take his place. 
On September 16, 1885, Samuel Edgecomb and Jacob Appie- 
man were ordained to the eldership. In the spring of 1883, 
Elder Andrew Neher of Salem, 111., and Leonard Wolfe, a 
minister in the second degree, and from the same place, 


moved into the Osage church. For some time thereafter 
the oversight of Cherokee was vested jointly in Elders 
Appleman, Neher and Edgecomb. This system was ap- 
parently a failure. Brethren Wolfe and Shideler were ad- 
vanced to the second degree of the ministry in September, 
1885, and were ordained in 1897 (or 1898) and on December 
13, 1902, respectively. Brother Shideler, however, received 
his ordination in the Osage church. 

The membership increased at an encouraging rate. In 
1885, it was about seventy, including five ministers ; namely, 
Jacob Appleman, Henry Shideler, Samuel Edgecomb, Leon- 
ard Wolfe, and Andrew Neher. At first the Cherokee 
church embraced the whole of Cherokee county, but in 1889, 


the presence of a number of members in the southern part 
of the county led to the organization of the New Hope 
church, with Samuel Edgecomb in charge and A. B. Lich- 
tenwalter, a minister in the first degree. Brother Lich- 
tenwalter had been called to the ministry in the Cherokee 
church on May 5, 1888. 

The Cherokee church never owned a church building, 
although at one time a site had been selected and plans 
laid for erecting one. The school houses of Liberty and 
Mount Olive were used for church services. 

The opening up for settlement of the territory of Okla- 
homa in 1889 and the opening of the "Strip" in 1893 sealed 
the fate of the Cherokee church. In 1895 there were but 
seventeen members. The homesteads of Oklahoma at- 
tracted so many of the Brethren that it was deemed wise 
to transfer the membership of the few who remained to 
the Osage church. This was accordingly done on Novem- 
ber 3, 1900, by Elders E. M. Wolfe and Salem Beery. At 
the present time (1921) the only charter member still 
resident in the community is Elder Henry Shideler. 


Cheyenne county is in the extreme northwestern corner 
of the state of Kansas. This part is still sparsely settled, 
but in 1886 there were enough Brethren in the county 
to justify an organization. Immigration flowed in from the 
Dorchester church, Saline county, Nebraska, and also from 
Marshall county, Iowa. Free homesteads were attractive 
to the Brethren. 

The prime- mover in church affairs was Esrom Slifer, 
formerly of Lanark, Illinois, but later of the Iowa River 
congregation, in Marshall county, Iowa. He moved to Chey- 
enne county in 1886. Largely through his efforts the four- 
teen members resident in the county met on August 19, 
1886, at the home of George W. Meyers, to organize. Elders 
M. M. Eshelman, B. B. Whitmer, and John Hollinger had 
the work in charge. They drove from Quinter in a two- 
horse buggy, "sleeping out" two nights on the road. 

The Cheyenne county church extended over a large 
territory, embracing the counties of Rawlins, Cheyenne, 
and Sherman, until an organization should be perfected in 
Thomas or Sherman county. At the organization, Geo. W. 


Meyers and John H. Cakerice were elected to the ministry 
and Theodore Slifer was elected a deacon. M. M. Eshelman 
was made elder in charge. The charter members were Geo. 
W. Meyers, wife, and two daughters, Daniel Fager and wife, 
Mrs. Samuel Wilson, Mrs. W. D. Gilchrist, Theodore W. 
Slifer and wife, Esrom Slifer, J. H. Cakerice and wife, and 
John F. Cline and wife. 

Bro. Meyers soon moved away. Bro. Cakerice later 
moved back to Iowa, then to Abilene, and is now an elder 
at Eldora, Iowa. Bro. Cline was one of the most heroic and 
devoted of the Brethren in the trying times in western Kan- 
sas. When the Sherman county church was organized 
(1888) he was ordained to the eldership. His last days were 
spent at McPherson, where he met a tragic death (May 8, 
1911), by being buried by the caving in of a sand pit. 

In 1890, Esrom Slifer was elected a deacon. On Febru- 
ary 12, 1890, his son, Oliver C, was elected to the ministry. 
He was a leading educator in Cheyenne county and at the 
time of his death (October 8, 1891), was principal of the 
Bird City schools. In the spring of 1890, he attended Mc- 
Pherson College, preaching his first sermon in the East Mc- 
Pherson church. 

The congregation never owned a church house, but 
made use of the country school houses and a union church. 
Before the advent of even these, they worshipped in the 
homes of the members. Tents were used for love feasts. 

In 1889, Joseph Gilchrist, a prominent Christian min- 
ister, united with the Brethren. He was elected to the 
ministry (January, 1890), and later moved to his old home 
at Fairfield, Iowa. Henry Fry, who lived over in Rawlins 
county, was also elected to the ministry (September 14, 
1895). His present address is Ludell, Kansas. On Septem- 
ber 11, 1897, George H. Sharp and Chas. H. Slifer were 
elected to the ministry. Bro. Slifer had attended McPher- 
son College, and now resumed his studies, pursuing them 
with a few interruptions until 1906, when he was graduated 
with the A. B. degree — a member of the class in which were 
the Crumpackers, Emma Horning, J. H. B. Williams, and 
S. C. Miller. After graduation he engaged in school work, 
became interested in Florida land, and was instrumental in 
August, 1914, in establishing the Brethren church at 
Arcadia, Florida. He is now professor of mathematics in 


the North Carolina College of Agriculture at Raleigh. 

George M. Lauver was principal of the St. Francis 
schools in the year 1898-1899, and while here preached for 
the Brethren. Several of the young people of this com- 
munity came down to McPherson College, largely, probably, 
through the influence of C. H. Slifer. In earlier days, how- 
ever, C. Everett Kemp came to McPherson and was gradu- 
ated with the academy class of 1896. In 1896-1898, he 
taught in La Verne (then Lordsburg) College. While at 
McPherson he united with the Church of the Brethren. He 
is now one of America's leading readers on the chautauqua 

Mention should be made of the pioneer work of Bro. 
Sharp (a blind minister) who preached at several places 
about the county. He lost his sight because of exposure 
while in prison during the Civil War. His knowledge of the 
Bible was phenomenal. He moved to Iowa in 1899. Then 
Elder John Snowberger of Holyoke, Colo., who was elder in 
charge for several years, used to drive across the country 
about one hundred and twenty-five miles to minister to the 
church. In September, 1896, J. F. Cline succeeded Bro. 
Snowberger as elder and continued in that capacity for 
some time. 

But the drouths of the nineties brought crop failures 
and people began moving out. Many moved back to Ne- 
braska and Iowa. Others moved further east in Kansas. 
The church was never disorganized. There are few if any 
members now resident in the county. 


(Formerly Slate Creek) 

The first members of the Church of the Brethren to 
locate in the community of Conway Springs, Sumner county, 
were Abijah Holloway and wife, formerly of Marion county, 
Kansas. For a time they were in Cowley county, but not 
liking that section they came west into Sumner county, 
where in August, 1876, they took a claim five miles south 
of the present Conway Springs. Sister Holloway was a 
kind, lovable woman and was much interested in getting a 
church started in the community. It is said of her that 
she was a missionary twenty years in advance of the age in 
which she lived. 

The first meetings held by a Brethren minister took 


place in the fall of 1876, with Samuel C. Stump of Nebraska 
as the preacher. As a result of a week's meetings held in 
the Sumner school house, two persons were baptized. Mem- 
bers soon moved in, however; among them Jacob Troxel. 
He was the first minister to locate. He came largely through 
the efforts of Sister Holloway. Bro. Troxel was born on 
March 14, 1823, in Darke county, Ohio, moved to Indiana, 
and later to the Silver Creek congregation in Cowley county, 
Kansas. He was chiefly responsible for the organization of 
the Slate Creek church. He was a foreful speaker, traveled 
much, and preached in many school houses and private 
homes. During one year of his ministry in Sumner county 
he was at home but one Sunday of the entire twelve months. 

Slate Creek church was organized in May, 1878, at the 
home of Susan Taylor, two miles east of the present town 
of Conway Springs. Elders Jacob Buck and M. M. Bashor 
were in charge of the work. There were sixteen charter 
members: Jacob Troxel and wife, Abijah Holloway and 
wife, E. P. Goble and wife, Susan Taylor, Stewart Hum- 
barger and wife, Belle Holloway, William Sheeler and wife, 
William Stoner, Sam Stoner, Bettie Stoner, and Reuben 
Rowell. Elder Troxel was placed in charge of the church. 
He was prominent in church work until his death on No- 
vember 23, 1905, when he closed an active ministry of over 
fifty-five years. 

The second minister to come to Slate Creek was Caleb 
Secrist. He was considered an educated man, but since his 
ideas did not "take" very well, he soon left. 

Members moved in rapidly from other parts of Kansas, 
from Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, and Iowa. In December, 
1882, there were sixty on the roll, with four ministers and 
five deacons. In 1884, there were seventy-five members and 
the deacon force had increased to nine. In the year ending 
February 16, 1884, thirty-five had been received by letter. 
One of these was Elder William Johnson from the Sugar 
Creek church, Tuscarawas county, Ohio. Bro. Johnson later 
(1891) became identified with the work in Wichita, where 
he is spending his declining years. 

While a great many have moved into this congregation, 
the loss by emigration has been large and continual. Okla- 
homa, Colorado, Idaho, Washington, and California have at- 
tracted settlers from Slate Creek. There are isolated mem- 


bers living at Belle Plaine, Rome, Argonia, Milan, and 

The first meetings of the Brethren were held in various 
school houses. Sumner, Fairview, and Elkhart were among 
those used for services. The church was erected in the 
town of Conway Springs in 1885, Elder Johnson having the 
construction in charge. 

The first charter of the church was granted on June 22, 
1889, under the name Slate Creek, German Baptist Breth- 
ren. A second charter, secured on July 8, 1916, uses the 
name The Conway Springs Church, Church of the Brethren. 
The name Slate Creek was first adopted from a creek by 
that name a mile east of the church and for the reason 
that the town of Conway Springs was not then in existence. 

The following men have been called to the ministry in 
this congregation: Reuben Rowell (November 13, 1878), 
John R. Leatherman (October 18, 1890), James Nininger 
(September, 1895), Eli Wise (May 9, 1896), Jacob Funk 
(December 11, 1897), Elmer Troxel, and William E. Thomp- 
son (1914). Brother Rowell served a while and then left 
the church. Brethren Nininger, Wise, and Troxel did not 
serve in the ministerial office. Brother Funk became a most 
successful mission worker in Wichita, later took a pastorate 
at Peabody, Kansas, then became pastor at Wiley, Colorado, 
and is now (1920) pastor at Pomona, California. He is the 
author of the work entitled "War Versus Peace." Brother 
Thompson served the church as pastor for three years, but 
since August 1, 1919, has been in charge of the church at 
South Ottumwa, Iowa. He was ordained at Conway Springs 
on November 10, 1917. Other ministers who at different 
times have lived in this congregation were Caleb Secrist, 
Henry Troxel, Daniel Harader, Daniel Meyers, John Holler, 
Isaac Leatherman, J. J. Troxel, B. B. Whitmer, J. J. Bowser, 
George W. Landis, A. J. Smith, E. J. Smith, and William 
Smith. From 1883 until his death in 1909, this church was 
the home congregation of Elder John Wise, so widely known 
throughout the Brotherhood as one of the patriarchs of 
Annual Conference. For many years he was elder in charge 
of the local congregation. Others who have held the elder- 
ship are Henry Brubaker, T. G. Winey, A. M. Dickey, A. J. 
Smith, J. J. Troxel, 0. H. Feiler and J. J. Yoder. 

Upon Brother Thompson's resignation the congregation 


secured as pastor Brother J. Perry Prather, a graduate of 
McPherson College with the class of 1920. Brother Prather 
took charge on July 15, 1920, and the work has prospered 
under his direction, 


The origin of the Cottonwood church — the oldest con- 
gregation of the Church of the Brethren in Kansas — is told 
in the first chapter of this book. Jacob Ulrich and his party 
of Indianans were the first Brethren to locate here, so far 
as is known. Later the Ulrichs and a few others went to 
Douglas county and became the first members in the Wash- 
ington Creek church. 

We hear little or nothing of the Cottonwood church 
during the Civil War but Isaac Hershey was the elder in 
charge until perhaps in 1865, when he was succeeded by 
Jacob Buck. Elder Hershey moved to Neosho Falls, but 
finally went to Moscow, Idaho, where he spent his last days. 
Other pioneers of the Cottonwood church were Samuel 
Sowers (a deacon) who came from Virginia in 1858, Abra- 
ham Gilbert, and David Roth. In 1868, L. H. Flack (a 
deacon) moved in from the Mohican congregation, Ohio. 
He was later elected to the ministry at Cottonwood. In 
1869, there came the family of James A. Yearout (himself 
not then a member) . In this family was Charles M. Year- 
out, later prominent in Brethren history in Kansas, but 
now (1920) living at Chico, California. 

The record is almost barren until early in 1882, pos- 
sibly in January, when a church council, presided over by 
Elders James E. Hilkey and Christian Flory, divided the 
Cottonwood territory. It was agreed that the north half 
should retain the old name and that the south half should 
be called Verdigris. Each of the congregations had about 
twenty-four members. Cottonwood had two ministers, L. H. 
Flack and S. A. Smith, and three deacons, Samuel Sowers, 
Abraham Gilbert, and David Roth. J. E. Hilkey was elder 
in charge. Verdigris had two ministers, D. W. Stouder and 
Chas. M. Yearout, and two deacons. There was no resident 

In these earlier days services were held at various 
places. Among them were a school house on Rock Creek, 
at Number 88 school house, at Number 1 school house north 
of Madison, in the Methodist church in Madison, at Number 


100 school house southwest of Madison, and at a school 
house where the present town of Olpe is located, on Eagle 

The Cottonwood church had some bitter experiences 
and internal trouble even before the division of 1881. It 
did not prosper because of trouble in the official body. Under 
the ministrations of Brethren Flack and Smith it dwindled 
to almost nothing. Later, in about 1890, when George W. 
Weddle came from Floyd county, Va., things took on new 
life. He was elected to the minstry here in 1890, and here 
was also later advanced and ordained to the eldership (July 
2, 1898). A church was built three miles northwest of the 
town of Dunlap in the fall of 1896. In 1894, Elder A. L. 
Pearsall, formerly of Ozawkie, moved into the congregation, 
where he resided until the time of his death on January 
30, 1906. Curtis Sargent, an active young man, was elected 
to the ministry. R. M. Weddle, a brother of George W., 
moved in from Floyd county, Va., and was elected to the 
ministry (October 13 or 14, 1894), at Cottonwood. 

From 1890 to 1900, there were about one hundred mem- 
bers in the congregation. Very suddenly, however, the 
membership suffered a tremendous decline. Curtis Sargent 
moved to Fruitland, Idaho, and Elder G. W. Weddle to 
McPherson. In 1903, there were but six members left. In 
that year Frank Sargent was chosen to the ministry. Bro. 
Sargent staid only a few years, however, and is now field 
agent for Bethany Bible School. 

In 1909, the church found itself without a resident 
minister, although there were at that time two mission 
Sunday Schools and two preaching appointments. In 1912, 
there were about two dozen members but they were much 
scattered. The church building had not been used for 
three or four years. There was a mission point near the 
Sargent home. In the five years before 1912, eleven persons 
had been baptized here. Just a few years ago the church 
building was sold and converted into a barn. A few of the 
members are cared for by the Abilene church and the rest 
by the Verdigris congregation. 

The following have been elected to the ministry at 
Cottonwood: L. H. Flack, D. W. Stouder (1874), Chas. M. 
Yearout (September, 1878, or October, 1880), S. A. Smith 
(September, 1878, or October, 1880), George W. Weddle 


(1890), R. M. Weddle (October 13 or 14, 1894), Curtis H. 
Sargent (November 6, 1898), Edward D. Steward (May 9, 
1902), and Frank N. Sargent (1903). The following elders 
have been here ordained: Jacob Buck (1870), George W. 
Weddle (July 2, 1898), and Edward D. Steward (October 
6, 1905). It is a question as to whether David B. Cripe was 
ordained here in about 1886. As far as is known the elders 
in charge have been Isaac Hershey, Jacob Buck, A. L. Pear- 
sail, J. D. Trostle, E. D. Steward, S. E. Lantz, George Manon, 
and C. A. Shank. 


The Dorrance church — one of the oldest in western 
Kansas — is located in the southeastern part of Russell 
county. On April 8, 1872, a colony of Brethren came from 
Cumberland county, Pennsylvania, and located here. In this 
colony were William B. Himes and wife, George Himes and 
wife, Levi Himes and wife, Daniel Marsh and wife, Michael 
Zigler and wife, and Rachel Wire. Levi Himes, however, 
was from York county. There were enough children in the 
party to demand the erection of a school building and to 
accommodate them a fine stone structure was built. All 
the early Brethren meetings were held here. These first 
Brethren lived between Bunker Hill and Wilson at a place 
called Pennsylvania. 

Grasshopper year (1874) brought hardships. The 
grasshoppers ate even the onions out of the ground. Aid, 
however, came from the East. W. B. Himes wanted to leave 
the place but had not the means. Fortunately, he staid by 
his claim and in 1902, sold it for ten thousand dollars. 

Since the Solomon Valley church was organized in 
1874, the Brethren in Russell county naturally fell within its 
territory. In the fall of 1876, W. B. Himes was elected to 
the ministry in that church. 

A second colony came in 1878. In February of that 
year, Elder Daniel Keller of Pennsylvania, came into the 
neighborhood looking for a location suitable for a Brethren 
colony. He spent fifteen days on the Santa Fe and Union 
Pacific railroads. On April 6, 1878, the colony arrived from 
Cumberland county, Pa., with Jacob E. Keller, Daniel Hol- 
linger, and J. C. Coover as the committee in charge. There 
were one passenger and two freight cars. The members 
bought railroad land grants, the homesteads having all been 


taken up. Some brought their eastern horses along but 
the greater part of these died, as they were not used to 
the prairie hay. Some farmers resorted to oxen to do their 
farming. Crops were so good that the colonists fancied, as 
one of their number afterwards said, that they "had struck 
the Garden of Eden." In this company were D. M. Shenk 
and wife, William Krebs and wife, Daniel Keller, jr., and 
wife, and Jacob E. Keller and wife. 

Prior to the organization of the Dorrance church, 
Brethren Isaac and Lewis Lerew and Henry Landis of the 
North Solomon church often came over and assisted in the 
services. On September 15, 1878, the organization was per- 
fected at Dorrance, Elder Allen Ives presiding. There were, 
thirty-eight charter members. On May 17 and 18, 1879, a 
love feast was held in a tent near the home of Levi Himes, 
at which time John Newcomer was ordained to the elder- 
ship and D. M. Shenk and Jacob E. Keller were made 
deacons. By June 19, 1879, there were fifty members. Four 
preaching points were in operation and three more were in 
prospect. There were four ministers: John Newcomer, 
Casper Hosfelt, W. B. Himes, and J. C. Coover. 

Other members moved in. In 1879, John Hollinger 
came, followed in 1880 by Jacob Harnish. Later there came 
with their families John Brower, Isaac Strole, Martin Cline, 
Drusilla Rankin, Rebecca Rankin, Chris. Cline, and Samuel 
Cline. All of these were from Virginia. 

In 1880, the Brethren were struck by poor crops. High 
spring winds blew out the wheat and the gardens. One 
brother sold fourteen months old pigs for eighty cents 
apiece. Food was scarce. Corn sold at eighty cents a 
bushel, but few had the money. Many who were able left 
the country. In their distress the Brethren were helped 
by the Union Pacific Railway Company, which furnished 
most of them with wheat to sow. The Company agreed to 
wait for the money one year, charging interest at seven 
per cent. To make matters worse, this year of scarcity also 
witnessed the breaking out of the diphtheria in the com- 
munity. Several Brethren families suffered losses during 
this epidemic. 

The first school house built in the community was called 
Colony. A cemetery, also called Colony, was set aside on a 
plot of ground donated by Daniel Keller, sr. It is located 


two and one-half miles southwest of Dorrance. In 1892, 
the Brethren decided to build a church on the southeast 
quarter of section thirteen, to be called the German Baptist 
church. The ground was donated by John Winebrenner 
and wife with the proviso that if the church were ever sold 
or moved away the land was to revert to the original owners. 
The General Mission Board advanced three hundred dollars 
toward paying for the church, the balance being raised by 
local subscriptions. There was no formal dedication but 
the first sermon in the church was probably preached by 
Jacob Harnish. 

In February, 1896, J. W. Long was elected to the min- 
istry. On May 8, 1897, W. B. Himes and Jacob Harnish 
were ordained to the eldership and D. M. Shenk was elected 
to the ministry. In 1898, Elder John Brower gave up the 
oversight of the church to Elders Himes and Harnish. In 
1903, Elder Harnish moved to California. In 1908, Elder 
Himes, at his own request, was relieved of the oversight, 
and Elder D. A. Crist of Quinter succeeded him. 

In 1909, at a council held at the home of Drusilla Ran- 
kin it was decided to move the church house to the town 
of Dorrance. This was done the same year (Nov., 1909). 
Sister Rankin donated an acre of ground for the purpose. 
Should the church be sold the proceeds are to go to missions. 
At this council Brethren A. C. Daggett, D. A. Crist, and 
0. H. Feiler were present. It was decided to call Bro. Feiler, 
lately elected to the ministry at Quinter, to take up the 
work at Dorrance. On November 1, 1909, he and his family 
moved to Dorrance. His support of four hundred dollars a 
year was shared equally by the Dorrance church and the 
District Mission Board. 

Bro. Feiler gave unstinted service and accomplished re- 
sults for the cause while he was at Dorrance. At one time 
he had six preaching places, at one of which he preached 
in German. On November 1, 1914, however, he resigned 
the pastorate in order to accept the call of the Board of 
Southwestern Kansas to take charge of the work in Hutch- 
inson. There were then forty-five on the church roll. D. M. 
Shenk, who had been ordained in May, 1909, succeeded Bro. 
Feiler at Dorrance. For several years there has been no 
activity in the church, especially since for some' time Elder 
Shenk was sick. He passed away on February 9, 1920, just 


one day after the death of Rebecca Rankin, another pioneer 
of the Dorrance church. The membership is very small, and 
has always been scattered. In January, 1887, M. M. Eshel- 
man and George D. Zollers held a revival in Kanopolis, in 
Ellsworth county, where there were eight members belong- 
ing to Dorrance. Lack of money and political excitement, 
however, caused the discontinuance of the effort. In 1907, 
there were only sixteen members and ten of them were from 
sixty-five to seventy-five years old. It has been hard to get 
a congregation together since the community is largely 
German and desires preaching in German. Since 1907, 
Dorrance has been under the control of the District Mission 

In the past Dorrance was under the successive elder- 
ship of such men as Newcomer, Brower, Harnish, Hollinger, 
Himes, Crist, Daggett, and Shenk. 

east Mcpherson 

This short-lived congregation, originally a part of the 
McPherson county organization and later of the McPherson 
church, was organized on October 27, 1890, by Elders J. D. 
Trostle and Daniel Vaniman. The meeting for organization 
was held in the East McPherson church house, which had 
been erected in 1887 eleven miles southeast of McPherson. 
The territory included in the new organization was all of the 
country east of the third section line east of the city of 
McPherson. F. H. Bradley, Jacob Brugh, J. 0. Brubaker, 
J. C. Ulrey, and David Puterbaugh were the ministers. J. D. 
Trostle was elected elder in charge. The charter members 
were F. H. and Adra Bradley, J. C. and Frances Ulrey, David 
and Katie Puterbaugh, Jacob and Myrtle Brugh, Jacob 0. 
and Elizabeth Brubaker, J. P. Puterbaugh, Carrie Puter- 
baugh, Addie Puterbaugh, Enoch and Laura Brubaker, Rosa 
Brubaker, Charles Brubaker, Joseph S. and Fannie Master- 
son, Michael and Mattie Wieland, J. H. and Emma Bosser- 
man, Angie Bosserman, W. D. Bosserman, Levi Hartranft, 
sr., Eliza Hartranft, Julia Hartranft, Edward Hartranft, 
Annie Nornhold, Caroline Nornhold, Jacob Nornhold, Isaac 
and Mary Merkey, N. B. and Lucinda Murray, Sarah Ul- 
rey, Lizzie Murray, Samuel and Nettie Wray, Mary Vogt, 
and Levit Hartranft, jr. 

On March 30, 1895, J. H. Bosserman was elected to the 


ministry and J. P. Puterbaugh to the office of deacon. On 
January 4, 1896, J. D. Trostle was relieved of the charge of 
the church and M. Keller succeeded to the oversight. On 
May 20, 1896, J. P. Puterbaugh was elected to the ministry 
and Daniel Eller was made a deacon. 

The membership grew slowly. In 1892, there were 
thirty-eight members and five ministers. In spite of the 
fact, however, that a number left for Oklahoma when the 
Strip opened up in 1893, in 1897 there were fifty-one 
members — the largest membership ever attained. 

The nearness of the college contributed toward making 
East McPherson an unpromising field. In 1899, liberty was 
given by District Conference to incorporate with the Mc- 
Pherson church. From 1898 to 1909, Elder J. P. Harsh- 
barger was pastor and elder in charge. Under his direction 
members were added by baptism. But most of the depend- 
able members moved away, and for that reason in 1913, 
after many fruitless attempts to keep the work alive, East 
McPherson was again placed under the care of the Mc- 
Pherson church. In 1916, the building was sold and the 
proceeds turned over to the District Mission Board. 


This congregation is located in the western part of 
Johnson county. It was once a part of the Olathe congrega- 
tion, but on February 8, 1896, was permitted by action of 
that church to form an independent organization. The 
organization took place on February 15, at which time the 
name East Maple Grove was chosen. At that time there 
were the following officials: I. H. Crist, elder, H. F. Crist, 
John E. Crist, and George R. Eller, ministers, and A. J. 
Eller, Samuel Frantz, Abraham Gump, and August Burg- 
torff, deacons. In addition to these the charter members 
were Sarah Crist, Catherine Crist, Susan Frantz, Nannie 
Gump, Salome Eller, Callie Eller, John F. Eller, Alice 
Frantz, Minnie Frantz, G. W. Abel and wife, J. F. Younce 
and wife, Eli James, 0. and Rose Younce, Jacob Fultz and 
wife, James Eakles and wife, P. J. Eakles, G. C. Shores and 
wife, Mattie Shores, S. S. Kalebaugh and wife, W. C. and 
Mary Kalebaugh, Henry Ronk and wife, Tona Ronk, Margie 
Ronk, J. M. Garst and wife, Levi Garst and wife, Frank 
Fuller and wife, Charles Crist, Lizzie Crist, Salome Stude- 


baker, Ed. Stephens and wife, Henry Beckner and wife, 
Oliver Jones and wife, Daniel Jones, Ann Morgan, Ren Mus- 
selman and wife, Ida S. Crist, and Frank Royer and wife. 

Following the organization the church enjoyed a good 
growth and rich spiritual life under the oversight of Elder 
I. H. Crist. At one time there were eighty members, but 
the spirit of emigration seized the members and on one 
occasion thirty left in a body for Arkansas. Later, Bro. 
I. H. Crist took up the work in Kansas City. The congre- 
gation dwindled until in 1900, there were but fifty-three 

In 1912, the Mission Board of Northeastern Kansas 
located Elder E. E. Joyce, formerly of Fredonia, in the con- 
gregation. He found but ten members. Death and emigra- 
tion had reduced the number at an alarming rate. Bro. 
Joyce staid until 1915. On October 25, 1913, a love feast 
was held, the first in four years. In 1914, the work devolved 
upon Rudy Saylor and J. M. Albright, the latter having been 
only recently called to the ministry (May 19, 1914). 

In November, 1915, the church, at a council, decided 
to reunite with the Olathe congregation. When Brother 
A. J. Ellenberger moved into the locality in March, 1917, 
he found the work practically dead, although about seven- 
teen members were discovered in the territory originally 
belonging to East Maple Grove. He arranged for a Sunday 
School and preaching services, both of which have been 
carried on ever since. On May 8, 1919, by means of a peti- 
tion signed by all the members, permission was secured 
from Olathe to reorganize. Reorganization was accom- 
plished by Elders R. F. McCune and Henry T. Brubaker. 
Brother McCune was elected elder in charge. Brother Ellen- 
berger is a minister and there is one deacon. In 1919, there 
were fourteen members. 

The following have been elected to the ministry in this 
congregation: E. D. Root (February 19, 1898) and A. D. 
Crist (February 16, 1901). Both of these men were or- 
dained here, the first named on November 26, 1904, and the 
last named on December 19, 1908. Henry F. Crist was or- 
dained on May 15, 1898. 

The East Maple Grove church is located between Gard- 
ner and Edgerton, near the main line of the Santa Fe, thirty- 
five miles out from Kansas City. Although completely de- 


molished by a storm early in September, 1903, the church 
building was rebuilt and is adequate to the needs of the com- 
munity. On October 24, 1920, Joel A. Vancil took charge 
of the congregation under the direction of the District Mis- 
sion Board. 


The Brethren made their advent into the locality of 
Eden Valley some time before 1878, for in May of that year, 
Bro. Joseph Bashor of Andrew county, Missouri, did the 
first preaching done by the Brethren. Then in August, 
1878, Bro. E. A. Orr of Missouri, preached two sermons. In 
April, 1879, A. Flora of Seward, Kansas, preached a sermon 
which led to the holding of regular services in the commun- 
ity. Most of the members were located ten or twelve miles 
south of Great Bend. 

The organization was effected on February 24, 1880, 
Elder P. R. Wrightsman of South Bend, Indiana, presiding. 
The charter members were: Abr. Flora and wife, Michael 
Moorhead, A. J. Williams, W. W. and Annie Moorhead, 
Charles and Josephine Martin, A. F. and Emily Miller, A. E. 
and Editha Orr, F. G. and Jennie Triplet, F. M. and Sarah 
Jolly, Samuel and Hannah Smith, Magdalena Hawkins, and 
Nora Orr. Bro. Flora was a minister in the second degree. 
M. Moorhead was a minister in the first degree. John 
Forney was elected elder in charge at the organization. 

The membership, however, soon began to scatter and 
within about a year the force of workers was greatly dimin- 
ished. The fact that the members lived in Barton, Pawnee, 
and Stafford counties, proved also to be a divisive influence. 
Church councils were held at various places, such as the 
Stone, Pleasant Ridge, and Eden Valley school houses. In 
1885, the membership began to increase. By September 
29, of that year, thirty-eight had been received into mem- 
bership. On May 25, 1886, a request came from the mem- 
bers in Barton county for a separate organization. This 
was not granted but these members were granted three 
meetings a month and those in Pawnee were to have one a 
month. Finally, on January 5, 1887, the request from Bar- 
ton county, upon its third presentation, was granted, and 
the Arkansas River was designated as the boundary line 
between Eden Valley and the church which was to be 
organized in Barton county. 


The first church building project occurred in 1887, the 
committee of solicitation and erection consisting of M. 
Moorhead, S. M. Kintner, Levi Brenneman, and Sisters 
Hickman and Barnhardt. The building was to be located 
on the northeast corner of Weaver's quarter (s. e. *4 °f sec ^- 
21, range 14, township 21) and a cemetery was to be estab- 
lished near the church. The plan miscarried, however. 

Several appointments were kept up during these years. 
On October 13, 1887, it was decided to have regular preach- 
ing at Seward. This arrangement was effected to take 
the place of the regular preaching services on the fourth 
Sunday at the Eden Valley school house. On September 
6, 1888, the appointment at Pleasant Ridge was changed 
to the Prairie school house. On March 11, 1890, the 
Seward appointment was dropped in favor of one in Dis- 
trict Number 90. In the summer of 1890, local troubles 
brought a committee of adjustment, consisting of Elders 
Daniel Vaniman, J. D. Trostle, John Wise, John Hollinger, 
Moses Brubaker, and Enoch Eby. As a result of the 
visit of the committee services were begun on the first 
Sunday of each month at the Douglas school house and on 
the third Sunday at Eden Valley. 

The desire for a church edifice was strong through all 
these vicissitudes and it was accordingly voted on November 
6, 1892, to build as soon as the money could be raised. The 
site first selected was relinquished in 1890, and now (Febru- 
ary 25, 1893), a piece of ground on James N. Miller's farm, 
one and one-half miles north and one and one-fourth west 
of Seward, was accepted. The building committee consisted 
of James Paxton, W. H. Hickman, and James Miller. A loan 
of three hundred dollars was secured from the General 
Mission Board. 

The church soon began to reach out into other com- 
munities. On February 25, 1893, preaching services were 
granted to the town of Stafford, the Eden Valley church 
agreeing to pay the necessary expenses. On April 30, 1896, 
the appointment at the Douglas school house was reopened, 
and on November 27, 1897, permission was given to have 
preaching near the town of St. John. It was discovered 
that the church site near Seward was ill-chosen. The com- 
munity was solidly Catholic. Accordingly, on February 21, 
1903, a committee was delegated to investigate and find out 


the best way of disposing of the building. In May it re- 
ported favorable to tearing it down, preparatory to rebuild- 
ing. A new site was necessary. Albert Mann's offer was 
accepted by the building committee, consisting of E. P. 
Metz, A. Adamson, J. N. Miller, Sloan Crissman, and John 
Beaver. The house was rebuilt four miles west and three 
north of St. John and was dedicated on November 28, 1903, 
Elder J. J. Yoder preaching the dedicatory sermon. 

Pressure was from time to time brought to bear to 
have a church for those members who were remotely located 
from Eden Valley. On August 27, 1904, this minute occurs : 
"Decided to make an effort to build a church house in the 
western part of the congregation, six miles south of 
Larned." D. S. Bowman was designated as solicitor in the 
western district and W. H. Beaver in the eastern. The 
building committee consisted of D. S. Bowman, G. W. 
Weddle, W. Horning, Roy Price, and Ira Martin. This new 
church was located on the southwest corner of D. B. Mar- 
tin's farm. 

Eden Valley has with difficulty maintained her minis- 
terial force. A query at District Conference in 1900 asked 
that the district "help us in our church work and care for 
us in our scattered condition." Sister Adamson agreed to 
furnish the material necessary to erect a parsonage on her 
farm should a minister be secured. The church agreed to 
build the house free of cost. But no minister was secured. 
The same year, however, Olin O. John moved into the con- 
gregation. He is a Virginian and a former student of Dale- 
ville College. On December 24, 1907, he was advanced to 
the second degree of the ministry. On December 2, 1911, 
an arrangement was effected whereby Brother John was to 
do the preaching, with the provision that appointments on 
the odd Sundays were to be filled by ministers from Bloom 
and McPherson. On March 8, 1913, it was arranged that 
Brother John and Brother E. S. Fox were to do the preach- 
ing. The securing of a regular pastor became more and 
more urgent, and on May 29, 1915, arrangements were re- 
ported whereby Elder A. D. Sollenberger of Beatrice, Ne- 
braska, became pastor. Brother Sollenberger and wife soon 
entered upon their duties to the satisfaction and joy of the 
membership. During their pastorate a new parsonage was 
erected. Under Brother Sollenberger the church experi- 
enced a substantial growth. 


As far as is known the following are the names of the 
only brethren called to the ministry by this church : Charles 
S. McNutt (1888), Jonas Hertzler (September 12, 1891), 
Addison Fryfogle (January 13, 1894), Josephus Barnhart 
(January 13, 1894), D. H. Clark (April 27, 1912), and W. H. 
Beaver (April 27, 1912). The following have served as 
overseers: John Forney (February 24, 1880- August 23, 
1884), George W. Elliott (August 23, 1884-December 1, 
1887), Enoch Eby (December 24, 1887-December 22, 1888), 
S. Z. Sharp (December 22, 1888-March 11, 1890), John Wise 
(March 11, 1890-August 26, 1893), M. Keller (August 26, 
1893-May 25, 1895), Moses E. Brubaker (May 25, 1895- ), 
George W. Crissman ( -February 22, 1902), G. W. 

Weddle (February 22, 1902-November 24, 1916), A. D. Sol- 
lenberger (November 24, 1916-1920). 

Upon Brother Sollenberger's resignation the church 
was without a pastor for a time, but in July, 1921, Paul K. 
Brandt, a graduate of McPherson College, succeeded to the 

(Also called Mingona) 

One of the many short-lived congregations in Kansas 
was that of Elm Creek or Mingona, in Barber county. The 
town of Mingona was located nine miles up northwest of 
Medicine Lodge on the Medicine river. The first Brethren 
in the community were Joel Root and his daughter, Mari- 
anne Hartzell, who lived eight miles west of Medicine Lodge 
on Dry Creek. 

By 1885, there were eighteen members in the county. 
In addition to those already named there were the follow- 
ing, all from Holt county, Mo.: Joseph Glick, his wife 
Lucinda, and daughter, Anna, Jacob H. Root, his wife, Susie, 
and sons, Aaron and William, Ella Root, Daniel L. Firestone, 
his wife, Katie, and daughter, Susie, David Root, Isaac Root, 
his wife, Malissa, their son, Joseph, and daughter, Retta. 
By the winter of 1885, there were twenty-four members, 
including one minister. The minister was Joseph Glick, who 
lived twenty miles away, near Sawyer, in Pratt county, and 
held services once a month in the Elm Creek school house. 
The first Sunday School was held in a temporary "dug-out" 
school house with A. J. Smith as superintendent. 

In the spring of 1886, several members moved in, 


among them one minister, William Smith of Marshall 
county, Kansas. On March 19, 1886, with John Wise pre- 
siding, the members were organized into a church at the 
home of Daniel L. Firestone, four miles north of Mingona 
on Sand Creek. Elder Wise was chosen presiding elder at 
the time of organization and Daniel L. Firestone was elected 
a deacon. 

In 1887, there were from thirty to forty members in 
the community. They laid out a cemetery and prepared to 
build a church. The elders and ministers now were Joseph 
Glick, George A. Shamberger, Jesse Shamberger, John H. 
Shamberger, William Smith, and John F. Neher. James L. 
Switzer, formerly of Jewell county, was also a member of 
this congregation. George A. Shamberger was from Nod- 
away county, Mo., and it was planned that he should build 
up a colony of Brethren at Mingona (fall of 1886). 

But the railroad was slow in building, and this fact, 
along with the coming of hard times, chilled the enthusiasm 
of the Brethren. On November 13, 1888, E. J. Smith wrote 
that on account of hard times many Brethren were leaving. 
In 1888 and 1889, J. L. Switzer and Isaac Root, with their 
families, went to southwest Missouri. D. L. Firestone and 
family went to southeastern Kansas. G. A. Shamberger 
went to the Indian Territory. J. F. Neher buried his first 
wife here and then moved to Kechi, Kansas. William Smith 
buried his wife here and then settled in Oklahoma. With 
him, at the opening of the "Strip," in 1893, there went also 
J. H. Root and E. J. Smith with their families, as well as 
others. This was practically the end of the church at 

There was never a church building in the Elm Creek 
congregation. The only Sunday School was held at Mingona. 
With that as a center the Brethren worshipped at Elm 
Creek (nine miles north), at Fountain Springs (five miles 
north), at Forest City (two and one-half miles northwest), 
and at Doles (four miles southeast). In addition to the 
ministers already named, this was also at one time the 
church home of Noah F. Brubaker and M. M. Ennis. 

In about 1892, J. H. Shamberger was called to the 
ministry. He was ordained in the Bethel church on October 
21, 1899. Joseph Glick was ordained on February 26, 1887. 
Elders who had the oversight were, in the order of their 


office, John Wise, Joseph Glick, Z. Henricks, G. A. Sham- 
berger, and J. H. Shamberger. 

(Dickinson County) 

The existence of this church was very brief. In Octo- 
ber, 1880, the Abilene church was divided into four congre- 
gations; namely, Abilene, Saline Valley, Chapman Creek, 
and Fairview. The last named church took its name from 
a school house two miles east of the present Holland church 
building. The membership was very small. George Maurer 
was placed in charge, but he became identified with the Old 
Order Brethren. It appears that Fairview did not have 
the consent of the whole membership when it was set aside 
from the Abilene church. This fact, with that of the few- 
ness of its numbers, insured an early return to the mother 

(Labette County) 

This rather short-lived church was formerly a part of 
the Neosho congregation. On April 9, 1881, at a council 
of the Neosho church, the territory of that congregation 
was divided into three, the northern part to retain the name 
Neosho, the middle to become Parsons, and the southern 
to be called Fairview. Fairview church made use of the 
Red Elm school house as a place of worship, since many of 
the members lived close to that place. It is located seven 
miles east and two south of Parsons and ten north of 
Oswego. The membership lived near Montana City, in 
Montana township. 

On April 23, 1881, after the division of the church had 
taken place, Elders S. Hodgden and C. H. Kingery, the latter 
formerly of Carroll county, Indiana, met the Fairview mem- 
bers and organized them. There were twenty-eight charter 
members. A. J. Hixson, formerly of Ashland, Ohio, was 
placed in charge. Andrew Culp and John Powell were 
deacons. The matter of feet-washing came up at this 
time but was deferred, the members not being a unit as 
to the mode. 

On February 12, 1884, J. B. Lair wrote in the Gospel 
Messenger: "The Messenger No. 3, made a little mistake in 
saying I was going to visit parts of southern Kansas, I am 
not only going to visit it, but, with my family and four or 
five other families, including about a dozen members and 


twenty-five or thirty persons in all, will start on the morning 
of February 12 — the Lord willing — for Labette county, Kan- 
sas, to make it our future home." Brother Lair was a min- 
ister and lived at Andrews, Indiana, in the Antioch church. 
When the party reached Peru, Indiana, it consisted of thirty- 
three persons, twelve of them members of the Antioch 
church. They came in a special car on the Wabash rail- 

The Progressive movement made deep inroads on the 
Fairview church. A. J. Hixson was perhaps the leader of 
the Progressive faction. At least, J. B. Lair said (G. M., 
September 1, 1885), that Hixson wrecked the church. As 
early as 1881, there was trouble and Robert Edgecomb lost 
his eldership. The dress regulations of Annual Conference 
were the disturbing factor. When Brother Lair began 
preaching here in 1884, there were only six or eight who 
claimed membership. In 1885, there were thirty members. 
Finally both brethren Hixson and Lair went with the Pro- 
gressives. That body built a church about a mile from the 
Brethren church at Galesburg but lost their influence and 
strength within a few years. 

In about 1887, the members began to scatter. Most 
of those leaving went to Parsons. Brother Lair went to 
Olathe. Others moved to Missouri and to Crawford county. 
The church was disorganized in 1887. The year 1898, per- 
haps, saw the end of all hopes for Fairview, the few re- 
maining members leaving on account of poor crops. 

(Sherman County) 

The first members in Sherman county were John F. 
Cline and wife, formerly of the Octavia church, Nebraska. 
They came to Kansas in the fall of 1886, and settled nine 
miles south of the present site of Goodland. They were 
forty miles from a railroad and thirty miles south of the 
sod church of the Cheyenne congregation. 

But other members soon came in, attracted by Kansas 
homesteads. The most of the future membership was from 
the Appanoose congregation, Iowa. The first convert, Mary 
Florence Ort, was baptized on May 8, 1887. On November 
19, 1887, the organization was perfected at the home of 
Bro. Cline, a minister in the second degree. Of the charter 
members the following names are available: John F. Cline 


and wife, Samuel Wichael and wife, Bro. and Sister Price, 
Mary Ort, William Welsh, wife, and three children, John 
Brewer and wife, and Levi Whisler and wife. The territory 
included Sherman and Wallace counties, the latter having 
some five scattered members within its limits. 

The congregation grew to a membership of sixty in 
six years. In 1890, there were seventeen additions. In the 
second or third year of its history the congregation bought 
and fitted up a store building for a church. This was located 
nine miles south of Goodland. All the members lived in 
sod houses, and the first love feast in the county was held 
in a sod house. Another mark of the primitive condition 
of things was the fact that Bro. Cline made use of oxen as 
he traveled about the country. 

In 1893, there came an awful drouth, injuring fatally 
the prospects of what bade fair to be a flourishing church. 
The members scattered in every direction — to Oklahoma, 
Colorado, Iowa, North Dakota, and to other parts of Kan- 
sas. The few who were left besought Bro. Cline to stay 
with them. This he did at great sacrifice. More than any 
other man he was able to minister to the needy in these 
trying times when aid came from eastern churches. A brief 
account of that period is given elsewhere in this book. Bro. 
Cline staid at Fairview until 1896, when he moved to Smith 

The record of Fairview is not available and little can be 
said about its officials. However, Levi Whisler was elected 
to the ministry (February 1, 1890), and on July 4, 1894, 
Bro. Cline was ordained to the eldership. Byron Sprague 
was elected to the ministry here. In 1898, the property and 
organization were placed with the District Mission Board. 
Subsequently, the church building was sold and nothing 
remains to show that Fairview ever existed. 


John H. Emmert, a deacon, moved from Washington 
county, Maryland, to Fort Scott, Kansas, in 1871, and was 
perhaps the first member of the Church of the Brethren 
in that city. Later, A. B. Fisher appears to have become 
a resident of Fort Scott. In 1877, there were nine members 
reported. Emmert, Fisher, and others were the nucleus of 
a mission carried on in the early nineties by the Mission 


Board of Southeastern Kansas. For this purpose a store 
room was rented in east Fort Scott and here services were 
held for several years. 

With probably twenty-six members the Fort Scott 
church was organized on Saturday, September 26, 1891, by 
Elders Jacob Appleman, J. H. Neher, and Samuel Edgecomb. 
Some of the members formerly held membership in the 
Paint Creek congregation. J. H. Neher was elected the first 
elder in charge. He was succeeded in turn by Samuel Edge- 
comb, W. B. Sell, A. L. Boyd, G. W. Lentz, E. M. Wolfe, and 
Salem Beery. 

It was in this congregation that C. S. Garber, once 
widely known among the Brethren as an evangelist, was 
baptized by Elder Edgecomb on Easter Sunday, 1895. 

The following have been elected to the ministry at Fort 
Scott: Rufus G. Gish (February 13, 1892), Alden H. Crum- 
packer (March 15, 1896), J. H. Numer (October 10, 1897), 
C. S. Garber (June, 1897), and W. D. Tisdale (October 21, 

For a time the church prospered. In March, 1896, there 
were fifty-three members. Most of them were poor finan- 
cially. The church building was made possible partly 
through money advanced by the General Mission Board. 
But growth did not continue and Fort Scott has been for 
some years numbered among the defunct churches of Kan- 
sas. It appeared for the last time on the minute books of 
the District Conference in 1902. 


It is probable that Lucy Myers (nee Hess), wife of 
Emanuel L. Myers, who settled on a claim on Rainbow 
Creek three miles southwest of Fredonia in 1867, was the 
first member of the Church of the Brethren to locate in 
Wilson county. In June, 1868, John F. Hess, a minister, 
with his wife, Catharine, moved in from Knox county, Ohio, 
and built the sixth house in the town of Fredonia. He also 
erected a blacksmith shop at what is now Sixth and Jeffer- 
son streets, but remained only a short time in town. In the 
course of a year or two he settled on a claim two miles 
southeast of Fredonia, on Clear Creek. Bro. Hess was a 
brother of Lucy Myers. 

The first week in October, 1870, J. W. Mahorney, a 


minister, came from Indiana and took a claim near where 
Bro. Hess lived. Other members came and settled. In 
1876, a church, called the Fall River church until March 
11, 1886, was organized with the following charter mem- 
bers : John F. Hess and wife, Catharine, Lucinda Hess, Lucy 
Myers, Christina Flack, J. W. Mahorney and wife, N. S., 
George Peffley and wife, Mary, Betsy Bossac, Bro. and 
Sister Shaffer, Bro. and Sister Whiteneck, and Bro. and 
Sister Miller. Isaac Hershey was chosen the first elder in 
charge. The territory of the congregation covered all of 
Wilson and Montgomery counties and also a part of the 
Indian territory. On March 11, 1886, when Fall River be- 
came Fredonia, the first name was applied to the Green- 
wood county church. 

The nearest railroad station in those days was Thayer, 
twenty miles distant. But the church grew both by immi- 
gration and by conversions, especially after the Frisco rail- 
road reached Fredonia. Although Bro. Hess was a man of 
poor health several preaching appointments were kept up. 
Bro.Hershey was succeeded in the eldership by Jesse Stude- 
baker and he in turn by Sidney Hodgden, who held the over- 
sight until November, 1882, when George W. Studebaker, 
formerly of Delaware county, Indiana, moved to Fredonia 
from Columbus, Kansas. Bro. Studebaker remained in 
charge of the church until deafness and old age compelled 
his retirement in October, 1896. 

New life came into the church with the advent of Elder 
Studebaker. Services were held in the school houses in 
the country, in the churches of Fredonia, and at Neodesha, 
fourteen miles southeast of Fredonia. In the spring of 1885 
the need of a church became so apparent that ground was 
purchased at what is now Eleventh and Monroe Streets. A 
building committee was appointed, two of the members 
being Brethren Hess and Washington Wyland. By Septem- 
ber, plans were agreed upon and the building was started. 
It is thirty-eight by sixty feet in dimensions. By strenu- 
ous effort the building was near enough to completion in 
November that a love feast was held in it and dedication 
took place. Late in 1884, Washington Wyland, a minister, 
had moved into the congregation. He proved to be a very 
valuable helper in church work. In 1886, he did some mis- 
sion work in Texas, but soon returned to Fredonia, eventu- 


ally returning to Iowa. Others who figured more or less 
prominently in the church in earlier days were Allen A. 
Oberlin (came in fall of 1885), G. K. Funderburg, J. R. 
Frantz (came in spring of 1886), and S. E. Thompson. 

The early nineties brought crop failures and general 
hard times with consequent scattering of the membership. 
The church was not able to retrieve herself until the fall of 
1896, when W. B. Sell and family moved in from the Grenola 
church. Bro. Sell was a minister. In a short time Fredonia 
had six ministers; namely, G. W. Studebaker, S. E. Thomp- 
son, W. B. Sell, A. K Sell, A. A. Stauffer, and Fred Ulrich. 
There was much activity in the church. This was cut short 
later by the moving away of some of the members and the 
withdrawal, in 1902, of W. B. Sell and a part of his family 
from the church. This left Bro. Thompson solely respon- 
sible for the work until 1904, when he moved to Garden 
City. He had charge of the Fredonia church from 1896 
until 1904, except for a short time when M. 0. Hodgden 
held the oversight. Following Bro. Thompson, George R. 
Eller became elder. He held charge of the church until 
Eli D. Root located in Fredonia. Under Bro. Root there was 
substantial progress in church work. At a love feast in 
the fall of 1905, W. B. Sell was restored to fellowship and 
reinstated in the first degree of the ministry. After two 
years at Fredonia, Bro. Root moved to Independence. E. E. 
Joyce of Altamont then became elder in charge. He was 
followed by N. E. Baker, who served until September 26, 
1908, when E. E. Joyce again assumed control. In Decem- 
ber, 1909, A. B. Lichtenwalter was chosen elder in charge. 
Then Bro. Joyce served again until December 21, 1912, when 
Amos Wampler became elder. Bro. Wampler continued until 
December 24, 1915, when Ralph W. Quakenbush succeeded. 
Bro. Quakenbush served until February 23, 1919, when 
W. C. Watkins was chosen. 

The following ministers have been elected at Fredonia : 
John Clingenpeel, James Murray (October 11 or 12, 1878), 
G. K. Funderburg (September 27, 1884), J. R. Frantz (De- 
cember, 1886), Allen A. Oberlin (September 19, 1891), 
S. E. Thompson (September 19, 1891), Fred Ulrich (Oc- 
tober 25, 1895), Leonard H. Root (May 26, 1906), and 
Bennie S. Waas (November, 1917). The only ordination 
seems to have been that of S. E. Thompson, which occur- 
red on October 17, 1896. 


The history of the Fredonia church for the last few 
years has been troublous, owing to the difficulty with W. B. 
Sell, to which allusion has already been made. In Decem- 
ber, 1911, at a council at which there were present Elders 
S. E. Lantz, R. F. McCune, E. E. Joyce, and Amos Wampler, 
Bro. Sell was expelled from the church. This decision was 
set aside on November 14, 1912, by a committee appointed 
by the Annual Conference at the request of Elder Sell. 
However, he was not restored to the ministry. On Novem- 
ber 8, 1915, Sell and" several others gave notice of their 
withdrawal from membership and stated that they had 
formed a church called the Altoona Brethren church. Sell 
is now reported as preaching for the Progressive Brethren 
church. The whole episode is a most unfortunate one and 
it has left its mark on the Fredonia church. 

Since 1920-1921, Walter Mason has had pastoral 
charge of the congregation, but at present R. W. Quaken- 
bush is elder in charge. 


One of the missions which has been directed by the 
Board of Southwestern Kansas and Southeastern Colo- 
rado is that at Garden City. On April 1, 1904, when Ei- 
der S. E. Thompson and family of Fredonia, Kansas, ar- 
rived at Garden City they found but two other families 
of members in the city, namely, those of William and 
George Wise — four members. It was very difficult to 
get a foot-hold, since no suitable building for holding ser- 
vices was to be secured and the minister's house was in- 

However, Brother Thompson found that the Baptist 
church was without a pastor; therefore, the Brethren at- 
tended that church. Brother Thompson obtained the 
privilege of preaching in this church one Sunday each 
month. This arrangement continued for some months. 

The first baptism into the Brethren church was that 
of the janitor of the Baptist church, who, by the way, was 
a negro. The Brethren hesitated some time in receiving 
him, fearing that this action might hinder their work, but 
after some delay, baptism was administered. Their fears 
were found not to have been justified. 

Finally, the Friends church was secured for services. 
It had not been used, however, by the Friends, but was in 


the hands of the Christian church, one faction of which 
had rented the building. At this time the spirit of faction 
had subsided, and, entering upon a closer union, they va- 
cated the church house. Thus, the Brethren secured oc- 

Later on a few families of members moved in and some 
other persons were baptized, thus making it possible to 
organize a church in Garden City. On August 18, 1906, 
M. Keller and Homer Ullo*m came to Garden City to per- 
fect the organization. There were twenty-four charter 
members; namely, S. E. Thompson, wife, and one child, 
L. A. Phillips, wife and one child, Nellie Reisen and mo- 
ther, Jard Colbert, wife, and two children, B. M. McCue, 
wife, and two children, A. Gump and wife, R. H. Hill (col- 
ored), William Ebbert, wife, and two children, and Sis- 
ter Zigler. These members were from Nebraska, Okla- 
homa, and Kansas. 

Members continued to come in and other baptisms 
were administered. In the fall of 1908, J. S. Carney, a 
minister in the first degree, presented his letter. The pres- 
ence of another minister in the congregation led Brother 
Thompson to think that his services were no longer 
needed. Accordingly, on February 4, 1909, he left Gar- 
den City, then a church with a membership of fifty, to 
take up the work in Lincoln, Nebraska. 

That summer, however, Brother Carney sold out and 
moved away, leaving the congregation without a minis- 
ter. For five and a half years following this the preach- 
ing was done by ministers from surrounding churches. 
This naturally caused a lack of interest and more or less 
dissatisfaction, resulting in the migration of several mem- 
bers. Then the Mission Board of the district appealed to 
Brother Thompson to resume his former post, which he 
agreed to do, and on June 15, 1914, he returned to Garden 
City to find but twenty members remaining. He set to 
work, however, with a will and in 1918, the membership 
had reached the figure of fifty-five. On August 1, 1918, 
Brother Thompson resigned the work and subsequently 
took pastoral charge at Clovis, New Mexico. Howard 
D. Michael, formerly of Juniata, Nebraska, now became 
pastor and elder. During his first year in Garden City 


Brother Michael saw the need of some Christian work 
among the Mexicans in the neighborhood. In August, 
1919, he organized a Mexican Mission Sunday School for 
these people — perhaps the first of its kind in the Church 
of the Brethren. He also organized a night school for the 
Mexican children. The school board of the city were led 
to see the high value of the latter undertaking and ex- 
pressed their appreciation by making themselves respon- 
sible for the care of these children. The church work 
prospered under Brother Michael. In the fall of 1920, 
he removed to McPherson in order to enter college, but 
his services as pastor were retained. In 1921, a total mem- 
bership of seventy was reported. 

Shortly after the organization of the church in 1906, 
the Brethren became the owners of the house in which 
they had been worshiping — the old Friends' meeting 
house, paying therefor the sum of three thousand dollars. 
The church is located on St. John and Eighth streets, just 
one block from the largest hotel in the city. The church 
is out of debt and on the way to usefulness and prosperity. 
While there have been recent losses because of emigra- 
tion, there have been gains by baptisms and immigration. 
There was one minister called by the congregation but 
he refused to serve. 

In May, 1921, Elder D. H. Heckman, of McPherson, 
Kansas, moved to Garden City to take charge of the 
church, which position he is now ably filling. 


In September, 1879, C. E. Gillett and wife left Henry 
county, Mo., and located eight miles east of Eureka on the 
old Humboldt road in Greenwood county. The wife was 
a member of the church while her husband was then a 
Baptist. In the fall of 1879, however, the latter made a 
call thru the Primitive Christian for J. S. Mohler to come 
over from Missouri to administer baptism. Thus, after a 
series of meetings, Bro. Gillett united with the Brethren. 
These services were held in the Wyant school house, seven 
miles east of Eureka. 

Bro. Gillett soon began to bestir himself to find other 
members. He found Samuel Hunt, Jacob Pipinger, and 
Hannah Dugard (nee Spacht) . In the following January, 


Eld. Sidney Hodgden, of Neosho county, held services and 
baptized A. Peter Dugard, a Dane who came to America 
in 1869. There were at this time probably ten members 
in Greenwood county. On January 24, 1881, Eld. Hodg- 
den and his son, M. O., were with the members at the 
home of Bro. Hunt near old Charleston, five miles north 
of Fall River, and there organized a church — this being 
probably the first council ever held in the county. Six 
members were present at the organization. An attempt 
was made to get the membership to move closer together 
but with small results. On the day of organization, Bro. 
Dugard was called to the ministry and C. E. Gillett and 
Jacob Pipinger were chosen deacons. It was decided to 
call the new congregation the Greenwood county church, 
and the Fredonia Brethren were to oversee the work. 

In February, 1883, Eld. G. W. Studebaker and John 
F. Hess of Fredonia came and preached at the Ward 
school house. Eld. Studebaker then came once every 
month to preach or sent Washington Wyland in his place. 
The next winter eight were baptized. More were bap- 
tized later. On September 19, 1886, at a love feast held 
in the hay shed of John Messner, with G. W. Studebaker 
and C. M. Yearout in charge, C. E. Gillett was called and 
installed into the ministry. During his first year of ser- 
vice in the ministry Bro. Gillett conducted seventy-five 
meetings. He was one of the early ministers to preach in 
the Flint Hills. Bro. Gillett has lived on the frontier all 
his life. He was born in Kalamazoo county, Mich., Mar. 
6, 1857. He was the second Brethren minister in the 
state of Arizona, presiding over the first council meeting 
and baptizing the first Brethren convert in that state. 
Bro. Dugard did not live long enough to be of much ser- 
vice to the church, since he passed away Dec. 3, 1883, at 
the age of 33 years. 

After the death of Bro. Dugard and the moving away 
of Bro. Gillett the church was left without a minister, al- 
though the Brethren at Fredonia kept up the services for 
some time. Finally, owing to continual losses of member- 
ship, the church was absorbed by the congregation at Fre- 


(Formerly Cana) 

In the spring of 1871, Jacob C. Ulrey and family of 
the Eel River congregation, Kosciusko county, Indiana, 
induced partly by the state of Bro. Ulrey's health and 
partly by the news of cheap land in Kansas, arrived in 
Lawrence on the way to Elk county. Leaving the train 
at Lawrence, they drove thru the country, passing thru 
the territory of the Washington Creek church, and pro- 
ceeding south, located one and one-half miles northwest 
of the present town of Grenola. There was no railroad 
closer than Independence, fifty miles southeast. For that 
reason lumber was brought that distance for the Ulrey 
house and sand was brought from Winfield, forty miles 
southwest, but the sand running short, the workmen 
pounded up some of the native sandstone to secure sand 
for the mortar. 

As far as is known, the Ulreys were the first members 
in Elk county. Early in 1872, Jeremiah Hollinger and 
family, from Covington, Ohio, moved in and settled seven 
miles northeast of Grenola. There were no Brethren ser- 
vices in the community until in November or December, 
1872, when Elder Isaac Hershey, along with Bro. and Sis- 
ter John F. Hess of Fredonia, came to call on the isolated 
ones. Elder Hershey preached three times at the Green- 
field school house near the Ulrey home and also a time 
or two at the Mound Branch school house, eight miles 

Members in Douglas county who had learned to know 
Bro. Ulrey as he pased thru, were interested to know of 
his having found a new home, and in 1873, a few of the 
members living south of Lawrence decided to cast their 
lot with the members at Cana. Among them was Joseph 
Michael, a minister in the second degree. Bro. Michael 
preached with fervor and several baptisms resulted in 
the summer of 1873. There were always good audiences. 
The school houses at Mound Branch, Greenfield, and 
Highland were used for these services. 

On October 18 and 19, 1873, a love feast was held at 
the home of J. C. Ulrey, and it was then that the Cana 
church was organized. It was called Cana because of its 
nearness to the headwaters of the Big Cana river, near 


the east branch of which Brother Ulrey lived. Several of 
the members lived over east in Wilson county and perhaps 
two in Montgomery county. The members present at the 
organization were : John F. Hess and wife, Jeremiah Hol- 
linger and wife, John A. Studebaker and wife, Joseph 
Michael and wife, Nelson Irwin and wife, Byron Ma- 
horney, and Jacob C. Ulrey and wife. An election re- 
sulted in the calling of Brother Mahorney to the ministry 
and of brethren Ulrey, Studebaker, and Hollinger to the 
office of deacon. Jesse Studebaker of Anderson county 
and possibly Isaac Hershey were present to perfect the 

Brother Michael was ordained in 1874. In 1877 or 
1878, he returned to Douglas county. Later in life he 
identified himself with the Progressives, and after spend- 
ing his declining years in Lawrence, passed away in 1917. 
For a time, it seems, he was a sort of foreman of the Cana 
church, succeeding Isaac Hershey. Then Jesse Stude- 
baker became elder in charge. He was succeded by Sid- 
ney Hodgden. In 1884, Elder John Murray, a brother of 
the well known Samuel Murray, moved in from Marshall- 
town, Iowa. Brother Murray served as presiding elder 
until 1888, when he moved away. In 1887, S. N. McCann, 
who had attended the Annual Conference at Ottawa, 
spent some time among the Kansas churches. While thus 
engaged he held two revivals for the Cana church. In 
1895, W. B. Sell moved into the congregation and did con- 
siderable preaching with good results. He remained 
about two years. He has since united with the Progres- 
sive Brethren. After Elder Murray's resignation (De- 
cember, 1889), John Wise was presiding elder for a short 
time. From about 1889 to 1895, George W. Studebaker 
was elder. W. B. Sell served from 1895 to 1897. Since 
that time the following elders have been in charge: S. 
E. Thompson (1897-1903), George R. Eller (1903-1909), 
W. C. Watkins (1909-1913), John E. Crist (1913-1915), 
W. C. Watkins (1915-1919), John A. Campbell (1919- 
1920), and L. G. Templeton (1920- ). 

There was no church building in the early days and 
the Brethren met in private homes, barns, haysheds, and 
school houses. Cana, had, however, bought one-fourth 


interest in a large tent, along with Cedar Creek, Fall Ri- 
ver, and Verdigris, and this tent was moved from place to 
place for District Conference and love feasts. In the spring 
of 1903, a church was erected and in the fall of that year 
was dedicated by Elder S. E. Thompson. It is located 
slightly over five miles northeast of Grenola. The cost 
was about twelve hundred dollars, aside from the labor 
donated. Of this sum, John Schul, a German brother of 
ample means, gave one half. 

In the latter seventies a number of Brethren families 
came in from Texas county, Missouri. Among them were 
Elder J. J. Troxel, who later moved to Conway Springs, 
and Elder W. D. Harris, now living (1921) at McClave, 
Colorado. Several members also moved in from Indiana 
and Illinois. 

It was under the ministrations of George R. Eller 
(1900-1909) that Grenola reached her high tide. The 
membership reached almost one hundred, about one half 
of which was made up of young people. The church 
spread out in the avenues of Sunday School work, Chris- 
tion Workers' Society, and missions. 

Aside from the ministers already named, the follow- 
ing have been called at Grenola: Jacob C. Ulrey (1876), 
Lee Pottinger (October 12, 1880), Arthur Sell (Decem- 
ber 1, 1894), Charles Gobble (December 1, 1894), Albert 
Stauffer (September 19, 1896), John C. Ulrey (August 
27, 1898), William C. Watkins (1904), Frank Wyant 
(1907), and Jerry M. Lieban (1907). The following have 
been ordained to the eldership: Joseph Michael (1874), 
George R. Eller (November 22, 1903), William C. Wat- 
kins (January 2, 1908), and William M. Wise (January 
3, 1913). 

The Progressive movement in its beginning caused 
little stir in this congregation, but in its later develop- 
ments perhaps withdrew some half dozen from the 
church. In 1885, the name of the congregation, in order 
to make it correspond to that of the town, was changed 
to Grenola. 


It was in the early eighties that the Brethren began 
locating near Herington, in Dickinson and Morris coun- 


ties. In 1884, there were several Virginians living near 
Enterprise. One of them, Elder George S. Wine, came 
from Augusta county, Virginia. In the fall of 1884, El- 
der James R. Gish preached in the town of Herington. 
He said he found four Brethren preachers in the vicinity 
but that they had not yet ventured to hold meetings. 
When he left, however, they consented to become more 
active. The ministers were Dr. T. J. Nair, formerly of 
the Beaver Creek congregation, Rockingham county, Vir- 
ginia, H. J. Smith, John Forrer, and S. M. Larkins. There 
were some thirty members, practically all of them Vir- 
ginians or Danes. In 1888, out of a membership of about 
sixty, sixteen were Danes. 

The members were expecting to organize into a con- 
gregation in March, 1885, and to build a church the fol- 
lowing summer, but the matter was postponed over a 
year. Mr. Herington, the founder of the town, made a 
gift of a lot and five hundred dollars towards erecting a 
church. The church, located in town, was dedicated in 
September, 1887. On September 4, 1886, the organiza- 
tion was finally perfected with forty-five members. All 
of Morris county and a part of Dickinson were included 
in the Herington territory. Elders John Humbargar, J. 
D. Trostle, and George S. Wine officiated at the organ- 
ization. J. D. Trostle was elected the first elder. He was 
succeeded by J. B. Shirk in 1890. 

The membership was never large. Its zenith was 
reached perhaps in about 1888 to 1890, when there were 
some sixty members. In 1887, the Hope family, our first 
foreign missionaries, just returning from Denmark, set- 
tled within the bounds of the congregation on a farm pur- 
chased by funds advanced by hundreds of enthusiastic 
friends thruout the United States. Elder Hope died here 
on July 31, 1899, and is buried in the Herington cemetery. 
His family, after living a number of years in McPherson, 
removed to Hutchinson, where they still (1920) reside. 

Herington was the home of brethren Larkins and 
Nair, both of whom were engaged in the real estate busi- 
ness. Their efforts drew many members away from Her- 
ington and served to deplete the church. A large emi- 
gration to Lordsburg, California, resulted. 


Little is known of the activities of the congregation, 
but in August, 1888, Peter C. Peterson was called to the 
ministry in order to preach to the Danes. At the same 
time S. M. Larkins was restored to the ministry and Dr. 
T. J. Nair ordained. This ordination was subsequently 
set aside on account of its irregularity. Samuel Forrer 
was here elected to the ministry but eventually relieved of 
that office. 

In 1900, pursuant to a request to District Conference, 
Elders George Manon and Benjamin Forney visited Her- 
ington to ascertain conditions. Their findings resulted 
in the disorganization of the church and the assignment 
of the members to the Ramona church, nine miles distant. 
The house of worship was torn down and rebuilt as the 
Holland house, now one of the church buildings of the 
Abilene congregation, and located fourteen miles south- 
west of the city of Abilene. A few members are still liv- 
ing in the city of Herington. 


The Brethren began their work in the city of Hutch- 
inson in the year 1895, under the direction of Brother J. 
P. Harshbarger, who was for a time superintendent of the 
Old Folks Home at Darlow. Substantial aid was given 
to the project by the Pleasant View church. At first the 
services were held at 20% South Main Street, but in the 
summer of 1896 they were moved to a church building. 
With varying fortunes the work progressed to the point 
that in 1909, the Mission Board of Southwestern Kansas 
and Southeastern Colorado called C. E. Wolf of Ottumwa, 
Iowa, to take charge of the mission, which remained a 
part of the Pleasant View congregation. 

Brother Wolf arrived in Hutchinson on January 13, 
1909, and the very next day began canvassing the city 
to ascertain the whereabouts of the members. He lo- 
cated fifteen of them. In the next ten days he had lo- 
cated twenty. The first Sunday he preached in a private 
house. The next week he leased the Seventh Day Advent 
church, located on the corner of Second Avenue and Pop- 
lar Street. Brother Wolf labored for the mission for one 
year. In 1910, he went to Denver to engage in mission 
work. He now resides at Fresno, California. 


From the time of Brother Wolf's leaving until the win- 
ter of 1912-1913, A. G. Miller, of Darlow, had charge 
of the mission. Then Oliver H. Austin, a student of Mc- 
Pherson College, looked after the work, Sister Grace 
Schul serving as city mission worker. From July, 1913, 
to May, 1914, Raymond C. Flory, a graduate of McPher- 
son College, served the mission. In May, 1914, owing to 
the appointment of Brother and Sister Flory to the mis- 
sion field of China, Hutchinson was again left without a 
minister. Sister Cora Boone (now Henard) did excellent 
work in the city from June, 1914, to 1916. 

The Board was exceedingly fortunate at this juncture 
in securing a man for the place who is a master at organ- 
izing. For five years Brother O. H. Feiler had had charge 
of the church at Dorrance, Kansas, and that church had 
grown under his direction. On December 1, 1914, Bro- 
ther Feiler took charge at Hutchinson. The growth of 
the work under his ministrations has been truly remark- 
able. He found but twelve members in the city when he 
took charge and in four years there were one hundred 

On December 31, 1916, the Hutchinson mission, until 
this time a part of the Pleasant View congregation, was 
separately organized as the First Church of the Breth- 
ren of Hutchinson, Elders A. F. Miller, and H. B. Martin 
perfecting the organization. Brother Feiler became elder 
in charge. The charter members were as follows: Ther- 
esa Albright, Edith Albright, Anna Baker, Harvey Brown, 
Mary Cline, Hanna Caldwell, G. L. Breon, Evelyn Breon, 
Leo Crisp, Bertha Crisp, Fay Crisp, Ernest Chase, Sister 
Chase, Ethel Chase, May Chase, Sophia Clark, Minerva 
Creighton, B. L. Dawson, Lametta Dawson, Inez Dawson, 
Hollis Dawson, Grandma Perry, Lydia Fahnestock, O. 
H. Feiler, Alma A. Feiler, Helen E. Feiler, Carrie M. 
Feiler, Fannie Ferrell, Helen Ferrell, Maud Garrison, El- 
sie Hicks, Ivan Jones, J. C. Kagerice, Mary Kagerice, 
Isaac Kagerice, Samuel Keckler, Sina Keckler, Mary 
Kint, M. A. Kilgore, A. F. Miller, Kate Miller, 
Mamie Miller, Grandma Pritchard, Martin Pritch- 
ard, Anna Pritchard, Hiram Pangborn, John Pang- 
born, Thomas Sampson, Minnie Sampson, Grace Samp- 


son, Luella Sampson, Frank Schroll, Mary Schroll, 
Ernest Schroll, Gertie Schroll, Albert Smith, Jewell 
Smith, Mary Snyder, Lelia Snyder, Harry Steward, 
Carrie Steward, Edith Terry, LeRoy Terry, Cecil Terry, 
Charley Trotter, Mabel Trotter, Bessie Trotter, Floyd 
Trotter, Virgil Trotter, Samantha Wirts, Frank Yardley, 
Clifford Yardley, Alva Stetler, Emma Stetler, Ira Tracey, 
Calvin Tracey, Sister Tracey, Lila Tracey, Albert Tracey, 
and Wallace Tracey. 

Three-fourths of the membership at Hutchinson in 
1919, was made of persons baptized by Brother Feiler 
who knew nothing prior to their conversion regarding the 
faith and practices of the Brethren. From 1915 to 1918, 
there were ninety-nine baptisms. Persistent personal 
work, supplemented with Bible study and work with the 
children, has been the explanation of much of Brother 
Feiler's success. Employment is always to be found in 
this city of twenty four thousand and many of the Breth- 
ren have bought homes. Several retired members are liv- 
ing near the church. 

On March 2, 1911, the Pleasant View church ap- 
pointed A. F. Miller and Wilmer Keedy solicitors for 
money for a church in Hutchinson. Two thousand dol- 
lars was the goal and over eleven hundred was raised 
at the council at which the solicitors were appointed. The 
church was erected in 1911. It is located on the corner of 
Eighth and Ford streets. 

Two ministers have been elected in this congregation. 
They are Darrell Flora and Thomas Templeton, both of 
whom were installed into the ministerial office on April 
11, 1920. In the summer of 1921 Brother Feiler gave up 
his position in Hutchinson to take charge of the church at 
Navarre, Kansas. 


The early records of the Independence church are not 
available, but so far as is known the congregation was or- 
ganized in 1875. The territory included Montgomery 
county and a part of Wilson county. Among the first 
Brethren settlers were the families of A. G. Empfield, 
Betts, Swearington, Sanders, Samuel Havener, Fritts, 
Megees, Michael, Miller, Early, and Beekly. They were 


induced to come to Kansas by the prospect of getting 
cheap land. Most of the members were from Indiana and 
Ohio. The organization was perfected by Elder Sidney 
Hodgden, of Galesburg, Kansas. 

In 1877, there were only four members living in the 
city of Independence. In 1881, there were ten in the city 
and twelve more in the country. In the summer of 1884, 
the church was built on the corner of Sixteenth and Myr- 
tle streets. Prior to that time services were held at the 
Empfield home and possibly at other places. 

Sidney Hodgden was elder in charge from the date 
of organization until January 4, 1890. Charles M. Year- 
out succeeded him. Then the minutes are silent until Jan- 
uary 7, 1893, when we find Caleb J. Fogle in charge. Af- 
ter that date until 1910, the following elders served at 
various times: S. E. Thompson, Leonard Wolfe, George 
R. Eller, E. E. Joyce, and E. D. Root. On January 7, 
1910, W. H. Miller became elder in charge and has re- 
tained that position up to the present. 

Of the ministers elected at Independence, the follow- 
ing data is available : I. L. Conner was elected on October 
14, 1888; David Betts was elected on October 28 or 29, 
1893 ; O. O. Kirkham was reinstated in the ministry on 
January 7, 1911; Ross Franklin was elected on April 5, 
1913; John B. Denny was elected on May 4, 1919; and 
Chas. Cline in 1920. Both Kirkham and Franklin are 
now out of the church. Brother Denny came to the 
Church of the Brethren from the Baptist church. He has 
proved himself a minister and evangelist of great ability. 
There have been two ordinations: Caleb J. Fogle (Sep- 
tember 27, 1890) and W. H. Miller (November 10, 1905). 

Evangelistic efforts have been held in the Independ- 
ence church by such men as Charles M. Yearout, W. H. 
Leaman, George R. Eller, Charles A. Miller, W. H. Miller, 
James Hardy, O. H. Austin, M. S. Frantz, J. S. Sherfy, 
A. J. Smith, E. D. Steward, and D. S. Clapper. 

The membership has fluctuated considerably. In 
1893, there were fifty-seven members; in 1898, seventy- 
two; in 1908, fifty-two. The present (1919) membership 
is one hundred seven. There are about eighteen isolated 


The members moved away in such numbers that in 
1905, at the request of the few who remained, the Dis- 
trict Mission Board of Southeastern Kansas placed W. 
H. Miller and wife in charge of a mission in the city. 
They found but three members — all of them sisters. 
The church building was dilapidated. The first Sunday 
evening the congregation numbered six. By January 29, 
1907, there were twenty-four members and the church 
had been remodeled. In January, 1907, E. D. Root and 
wife took charge of the mission, succeeding the Millers. 
Since 1908, the church has been self-supporting. 

Independence has done much extension work. Sev- 
eral outlying appointments have been under its care. One 
of them was at the Pleasant Valley school house, two 
miles from the town of Liberty and near the home of Joel 
W. Eikenberry, a minister. There were once fourteen 
members at this point, although at present there are but 
five reported. For a time services were held at Liberty 
twice a month. 

As has been intimated, there have been many losses 
by emigration. In 1908-1909, nineteen were disowned. 
Gains have been about equal from members' families and 
from non-members. 

The C. W. B. is very active. Along with the other 
bands of the district, it shares in the support of Sister 
Emma Horner Eby on the India mission field. There are 
two active Gospel teams — one of the brethren and one 
of the sisters. There is need of more room in the church 

The present (1920) ministerial force consists of Elder 
W. H. Miller, J. W. Eikenberry, John B. Denny, George 
W. Holmes, and Chas. Cline. There are six deacons. 
Since January 7, 1910, Pella Carson has been church cor- 


The Kansas Center church was an offspring of the Sa- 
lem church. It was in the fall of 1885, that J. N. Dresner 
and J. P. Vaniman went from Gardner, Kansas, to buy 
land in Rice county. In the spring of 1886, the two fam- 
ilies moved and located east of the town of Lyons, thus 
becoming the nucleus of the future congregation. 


These two families were not long alone. In the fall 
of 1886, Elder Jonathan Brubaker of eastern Tennessee, 
along with his family, including three married daughters, 
arrived in Rice county. Henry T. Brubaker was also in 
the party. The Brubakers had been in Nebraska, were 
disappointed, returned to Tennessee, but again came 
West. Arriving at McPherson, they were directed by 
Bro. Frank H. Bradley to Lyons. Later, there came a del- 
egation of members originally from Roanoke, Va., con- 
sisting of Elder Moses Brubaker and family, along with 
two sons-in-law and their families. Still later several mem- 
bers moved in from Indiana. As before indicated, these 
Brethren all held membership in the Salem church. Kan- 
sas Center church was the third church formed out of the 
Salem congregation since August, 1885, but the mother 
congregation still had seventy members. 

Permission having been secured from Salem, the Rice 
county members met in business meeting — eighteen in 
number — on May 31, 1886, and effected an organiza- 
tion. Among those present from the Salem church were 
L. E. Fahrney and P. J. Trostle. J. D. Trostle presided. 
Sadie Dresher was elected clerk and held that position 
until 1909, when the Dresher family moved to McPher- 
son. The meeting was held in the St. John school house, 
about three miles southeast of Lyons. Of the charter 
members the following names are at hand : J. N. Dresher 
and wife, J. P. Vaniman and wife, R. O. Boone and wife, 
I. S. Brubaker and wife, Moses E. Brubaker and wife, J. 
F. Riffey and wife, John and Ezra Brubaker, and Nannie 
and Lizzie Brubaker. Moses E. Brubaker became elder 
in charge. Many of the members were in the prime of 
life and most of them are still living (1920). 

Until the erection of the church, services were held in 
the St. John and Hebron school houses. The first love 
feast was held at the home of I. S. Brubaker, on June 11 
and 12, 1887. It was some time during the fall of that 
year that the first Sunday School was organized at the 
Hebron school house, with Henry T. Brubaker as super- 

School houses proved unsuitable for church services, 
and the long and faithful efforts of the members were 


rewarded when, in 1890, a substantial church arose three 
and one-half miles northeast of Lyons. It was built on 
the northwest corner of the J. N. Dresher farm. The cost 
was one thousand dollars. The dedicatory sermon was 
preached by Elder Andrew Hutchison on July 6, 1890. 
The house was built largely by the membership. When 
it came to the painting, four sisters wielded painters' 
brushes with pleasing effect. 

The ministers were busy in these early days. At least 
five preaching points were sustained by the Kansas Cen- 
ter church, many of them for a considerable length of 
time. On Sunday mornings it was the custom of the 
preachers to scatter out to the several school houses where 
services were held. One of the first appointments was 
at the Climax school house, nine miles northeast of the 
church. It was probably in the winter of 1888, that I. 
H. Crist held a three weeks' revival at this place with good 
results. Regular appointments were also filled at the Vic- 
toria school house, eleven miles northwest of the church. 
There were two Brethren families from Pennsylvania liv- 
ing near the Santa Fe school house, about nine miles 
southwest. Their request for preaching services was 
granted. The Mendon school house, located six miles 
east, was used as a preaching point for some years by I. 
S. Brubaker, who held Sunday afternoon services. It was 
apparently not a very productive field. There were ser- 
vices held for a time at what was called by some the Horn 
school house, eight miles east of the church, but it was 
the first of the outlying appointments to be dropped. It 
finally came about that the services other than those at 
the church were discontinued, and in the following order : 
Mendon, Victoria, Santa Fe, and Climax. The reasons 
for the discontinuance of these other services were the 
waning membership and lagging interest in the church 
incident to the dissipation of the energies of the member- 
ship, the opposition of a considerable portion of the mem- 
bership, and above all the death of Jonathan Brubaker 
and the moving away of Moses E. Brubaker. The church 
had really attempted to do too much in reaching out for 

The following Brethren have been elected to the min- 


istry: Henry T. Brubaker (September 19, 1891) and 
Benjamin F. Brubaker (November 15, 1902). There was 
but one ordination; namely, Henry T. Brubaker (Novem- 
ber 15, 1902). 

The following elders have presided over the congrega- 
tion: Moses E. Brubaker (May 31, 1886-February 12, 
1898), Jonathan Brubaker (February 12, 1898-May 5, 
1899), M. Keller (May 5, 1899-May 16, 1903), and Henry 
T. Brubaker (May 16, 1903- ), and Ellis M. Studeba- 

Few congregations in Kansas have been more thor- 
oughly depleted by emigration. There were several 
causes. The cheaper lands of the West, and of Oklahoma 
especially, were very attractive. In about 1908, four fam- 
ilies of members left for Cordell, Okla. But the educa- 
tional facilities afforded by McPherson College led sev- 
eral families to move to that place and few if any of them 
returned to the home church. 

The distinctive contribution of the Kansas Center con- 
gregation is by no means negligible. To have received a 
whole generation of members' children into the church 
is a feat that few churches can duplicate. Few, like Kan- 
sas Center, have furnished forty-four students for Mc- 
Pherson College. Two good families took an active in- 
terest in a crippled young man, Jackson Minnick, and 
looked after his education. Later he united with the 
Brethren, became an active member, and from 1903, until 
his death in 1909, was probate judge of Rice county. Kan- 
sas Center was for years the home of Ernest D. Vaniman, 
missionary to China. While a member of this congrega- 
tion J. N. Dresher became a member of the District Mis- 
sion Board, on which Board he is still (1920) serving. 

After several prolonged and vain attempts to keep 
the work of the church alive at Kansas Center, the Dis- 
trict Conference authorized the disorganization of the 
church. This was accomplished (1919) by Elders J. J. 
Yoder and W. A. Kinzie. The church building was sold. 


Although the Brethren began work in Kansas City, 
Missouri, in April, 1871, thru the efforts of D. B. Gibson 


and D. D. Sell, it was at a comparatively late date that 
they entered Kansas City, Kansas. It was in 1888, that 
the General Mission Board, thru its Secretary and Treas- 
urer, D. L. Miller, wrote Elder I. H. Crist of Olathe, send- 
ing him money to enable him to go to Kansas City to hold 
services. There were but two members in the city at 
that time — Brother and Sister S. C. Keim, but an opera 
house was secured and services were first held on Decem- 
ber 12, 1888. Later, Brother Crist secured the use of a 
hall. In August, 1890, the first applicant was baptized. 

The Kansas City church was organized on November 
20, 1897, by Elders I. H. Crist, I. L. Hoover, and George 
E. Wise. There were thirty-eight charter members, of 
which number the following names are recalled : S. C. 
Keim and wife, William Holsinger, W. T. Nininger and 
wife, Jacob A. Brugh, Elizabeth Dierdorff, Judith Strick- 
ler, William A. Garber, sr., William A. Garber, jr., John 
Hurnie, D. G. Sell and wife, Mattie Miller, and Sylvester 
Miller and wife. Both Kansas City, Missouri, and Kan- 
sas City, Kansas, were included in the new congregation, 
of which Brother Crist became elder. With the excep- 
tion of one year he was in charge until he left the city 
in February, 1916. 

The Brethren soon bought a lot and a house of wor- 
ship was erected on the corner of Central Avenue and 
Boekee street. The house and lot cost $2,000. The 
church was dedicated by S. Z. Sharp on March 26, 1899. 
At first all the members in Kansas City worshipped at 
Central Avenue. The work prospered. From the begin- 
ning to 1915, four hundred eighty had been baptized. 
Brother Crist's record further shows that he had made 
19,914 visits into homes, had preached 2,120 sermons, 
had preached 151 funerals, had anointed 117 persons, 
had presided over 124 councils, had attended 48 love 
feasts, and had performed the marriage ceremony for 
304 couples. In 1915, there were eighty-six members at 
Central, eighty at the Armourdale mission, and fifty at 
the First Church of the Brethren in Kansas City, Mis- 

In 1903, the city was visited by a very high flood 
which brought distress to thousands. There were four- 


teen members in the flood district. They lost everything 
except the clothing on their backs. Bro. Crist received 
much clothing and bedding for the sufferers and about 
fourteen hundred dollars in cash. 

In 1904, while James M. Neff was connected with 
Central Avenue congregation, he started a mission in Ar- 
mourdale. It was originally located in an old store at 
Fifth and Shawnee streets, but was later moved to 719 
St. Paul Street, in Armourdale. Brother Neff's idea was 
that workers might be developed thru the medium of the 
mission for service at Central Avenue. Josie Powell, now 
a missionary in India, was, along with Mrs. Sarah Latzen- 
hiser, the first to be in charge of Armourdale mission. 
Work was begun in the summer of 1904. Brother Neff 
was compelled because of ill health to quit the work in 
the spring of 1905. In his thirteen months' stay, thirty- 
seven had been baptized and twenty-one had been re- 
ceived by letter. In the spring of 1907, the District Mis- 
sion Board bought a church building with five rooms at- 
tached, situated, as stated before, at 719 St. Paul Street. 
While the mission was supported by the district, Central 
Avenue church extended more or less aid and encourage- 

For a number of years Elder Crist and wife had charge 
of the mission. Other workers associated with it were 
Cora Wampler, Jennie Mohler, Viola Cline, E. F. Sherfy 
and wife, Elva Miller, James Shriver and wife, and Mrs. 
Barker. On December 18, 1911, the District Mission 
Board organized the mission into a distinct body. Its ter- 
ritory included all of Kansas City south of the Union Pa- 
cific Railroad, part of the city south of the Kansas river, 
and all of Rosedale. There were seventy-six members. 
On March 26, 1914, S. B. Howard was elected to the min- 
istry in the new congregation. E. S. Coffman began work 
as pastor on March 24, 1917, and served until March 1, 
1918, dividing his time between Central Avenue and Ar- 

The following ministers have been elected at Central 
Avenue: W. A. Garber (January 1, 1898), A. C. Brubaker 
(May 6. 1900), Lawrence Risk (1903), O. R. McCune 
(April 29, 1905), Albert Eastwood (April 29, 1905), W. 


P. Strole (April 2, 1910), and Ernest Goens (March 25, 
1914). The only ordination is that of O. R. McCune, who 
was advanced to the eldership in 1915. 

Upon the removal of Elder and Mrs. Crist from Kan- 
sas City in 1916, Elder Benjamin Forney took up the 
work at Armourdale for a time. When he left in 1917, 
Elder Chas. A. Miller, formerly of the Scott Valley con- 
gregation, took charge. Brother Miller is still identified 
with the Armourdale church. 


In the seventies Labette county became well known 
to the Brethren in general, with the result that a large 
immigration was turned to this part of the state. In De- 
cember, 1871, J. W. Eikenberry came to Labette county 
a second time. He located about two miles from the 
Bowman school house. At least as early as the winter 
of 1871, Sidney Hodgden, of Neosho county, was preach- 
ing at the Bowman school house. A minister named Wil- 
liam Hubble lived seven miles southwest of Parsons. He 
was a son-in-law of Isaac Hershey. The Brethren in La- 
bette county were considered members of the Neosho 
church near Galesburg. 

The Labette church was organized by Elder Hodgden 
in December, 1878, at the home of Salome Krieghbaum. 
Among the twenty-three charter members were J. W. 
Eikenberry and wife, S. D. Reniker and wife, Joseph Wall 
and wife, Salome Krieghbaum, O. E. Loshbaugh, Sarah 
Loshbaugh. Brethren Eikenberry and Reniker were min- 
isters. S. Hodgden was chosen elder in charge. The first 
communion service was held in a hayshed belonging to 
Harrison Rickels, south of Hackberry Creek, in 1879. C. 
H. Kingery, a minister, moved into the Labette congrega- 
tion from Camden, Indiana, in 1879. He later became 
elder in charge of the church. S. D. Reniker was expelled 
from the church. 

For various reasons Labette church declined. In 1890, 
there were thirty-five members. In 1903 the name La- 
bette occurs for the last time in the records of the district. 
The organization was perpetuated under the name of Al- 
tamont. The reader is referred to that church sketch for 
further and later information. 


LARNED (City) 

This church began as the Larned mission, the country 
church six miles south of the city of Larned cooperating 
with the district mission board of Southwestern Kansas 
and Southeastern Colorado in its upkeep. The first ser- 
mon was preached on December 20, 1908, by Elder J. Ed- 
win Jones, who had been called from Grundy Center, 
Iowa, to take charge of the work and had arrived in Lar- 
ned on December 8. 

Services were held in the pastor's house since there 
was no church building available. There were seventeen 
members when Elder Jones took charge. They were: 
John Brunk, Ida Brunk, Fred Weimert, Pearl Parker Wei- 
mert, Lura, Lela, Mary, and Margaret Weimert, Grace 
Weimert, S. S. Fasnacht, Sarah Fasnacht, Ruth Fasnacht, 
Calvin Burger, Lizzie Teeter, John Murray, Minnie Mur- 
ray, and Jennie Bishop. These members represented 
eight families. 

Early in the spring of 1909 work was begun on a fine 
brick church on East Seventh street. It was finished the 
first week in October and dedication services were held 
on October 10, 1909, President Edward Frantz of McPher- 
son College preaching the dedicatory sermon. There 
were 300 persons present at this service. The church 
building is modern in every respect. 

Under Bro. Jones's able leadership the mission grew. 
Before November 26, 1912, twenty-five were added by let- 
ter and twenty-two by baptism. This encouraging growth 
led to a decision to organize the mission into a church. 
Accordingly, on November 26, 1912, with Elders Henry 
T. Brubaker and Michael Keller present, the organization 
was perfected. Several of the mission members had 
moved away before this date, but Elder E. S. Fox and 
wife had moved near the city. There were, therefore, 
about fifty-six members to form the new church. At the 
time of organization Calvin Burger and John Brunk were 
elected to the deacon's office. The original membership 
of the church was largely from Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, 
and Pennsylvania. 

On September 1, 1914, Elder Jones severed his con- 
nection with the Larned city congregation to accept a 


call from the district mission board to work in the Wichita 
mission. For several months there was no pastor. Then 
Elder Jacob M. Boaz of Pennsylvania assumed the pas- 
torate, which he held until August 1917, when he be- 
came pastor at Long Beach, California. 

One difficulty which the pastors have experienced 
at Larned was the necessity of creating a city church out 
of country people. But steady growth has resulted from 
their labors. In January, 1916, there were seventy mem- 
bers. The greatest losses of membership were occasioned 
by members removing to California. Some have also gone 
to Texas and others to the East. Within the past year 
seventeen letters have been granted. The membership 
reported in 1919 is fifty-three. E. S. Fox is the present 
elder in charge. He was ordained here on January 20, 

Brother Boaz was succeeded in the pastorship by 
Clarence E. Schrock, who remained but a short time. 
Lonnie L. Alger is at present (1920) the pastor. 

LARNED (Rural) 

The territory of this church was originally included 
in that of the Eden Valley congregation. It was largely 
thru the efforts of D. S. Bowman formerly of the Sandy 
Creek church, Ohio, that members were induced to settle 
south of Larned. This occurred in about the year 1903- 
1904. Among those moving to the community was Elder 
George W. Weddle and family. Brother Weddle is a 
native of Virginia but had lived in several places in Kan- 
sas. Other ministers who soon moved in with their fam- 
ilies were Michael Keller, E. S. Fox, John Clapper, D. B. 
Martin, and J. W. B. Hylton. Besides these there were 
S. E. Arnold and wife, Isaac Arnold and wife, I. Bowser 
and family, B. F. Baker and family, John Bishop and wife, 
D. M. Eller and family, W. W. Horning and family, D. 
Martin and wife, Ira Martin and wife, Emry Martin and 
wife, Roy Price and family, Irene Rupp, L. C. Weddle and 
wife, and F. E. Weimert and family. 

There was a total of fifty-nine members on the day of 
organization. On September 16, 1905, Elders M. J. Mish- 
ler and Henry T. Brubaker met with the members and 
perfected the organization. 


Services had been held, however, for some years pre- 
vious to the date indicated. Brother Bowman and family, 
in connection with some of the Mennonites in the neigh- 
borhood, organized and conducted a union Sunday School 
in the Eureka school house, three miles east of the loca- 
tion of the present Larned (country) church. Occasion- 
ally Brother Bowman used to get a Brethren preacher to 
come to conduct services. After the coming of Brother 
Weddle, the Brethren and Mennonites held preaching 
services alternately. This plan was carried out until the 
year 1905, when each of the denominations dedicated its 
own church building. The Brethren church was dedi- 
cated on Easter Sunday by J. J. Yoder. It is situated six 
miles south of Larned. 

As soon as the Brethren had their own church they 
began to have preaching, Sunday School, and Christian 
Workers' meetings each Sunday. The first Sunday School 
superintendent was D. M. Eller. The church continued 
to grow, until in 1908 there were a number of members 
living in the city of Larned. Thereupon, the Mission 
Board of the district decided to establish a mission, choos- 
ing Elder J. Edwin Jones of Grundy Center, Iowa, as its 

Brother Weddle continued to have charge of the rural 
church until 1908, when Michael Keller succeeded, in 
which capacity he still serves. In the summer of 1909, 
Elder Weddle and four other families moved to Bloom, 
in Ford county, and thus became the nucleus of another 
church. For some years Walnut Valley, greatly depleted 
in membership, has been more or less dependent upon 
Larned for its preaching services. Brother Keller has 
looked after its wants with great fidelity. 

The following ministers have been chosen in the rural 
church: S. E. Hylton (June 13, 1911), W. M. Cline (Sep- 
tember 10, 1917), and Walter H. Baker (September 10, 

In 1919, a membership of seventy-nine was reported. 
Great drains on the membership were made in 1920 due 
to emigration to California and other places. 



The Brethren first held services in Lawrence in 1880. 
Elder M. T. Baer began a series of meetings in the Unitarian 
church in that city on January 20, of that year. He left 
before the revival was completed, however, and Joseph 
Michael and Ephraim Shuck continued the preaching. Ap- 
parently there were no visible results. There were at that 
time twelve or fifteen members in Lawrence. They held 
membership in the Pleasant Grove congregation. 

For some years services were held in the Free Meth- 
odist church and in a school house in the south part of the 
city. The state university brought to Lawrence numerous 
young members, among them several ministers. Thus, from 
time to time the church had the ministrial services of J. Z. 
Gilbert, L. D. Ikenberry, S. J. Miller, and George D. Kuns. 

On December 8, 1900, the members were separately 
organized by Elders I. L. Hoover and J. S. Mohler. The 
charter members were H. Breese and wife, E. Hertzler and 
wife, Mrs. C. Kleinfogle, J. N. Eberhart and wife, Omar 
Harshman, and S. B. Katherman and wife. I. L. Hoover 
became elder in charge. 

There was no regularly supported minister until the 
winter of 1911, when L. H. Root and wife, under the direc- 
tion of the District Mission Board of Northeastern Kansas, 
took up the work. Bro. Root, however, remained but a 
short time. Then Elder Benjamin Forney, formerly of 
Abilene, Kansas, took charge of the work. In the summer 
of 1918, Elder Frank E. McCune, formerly of Muncie, Indi- 
ana, became pastor. Brother McCune is a graduate of 
Ottawa University. His pastorship continued until the fall 
of 1919, when he assumed charge of the church at Mount 
Morris, Illinois. Since November 22, 1919, Brother Earl 
M. Bowman has been pastor. 

In the fall of 1916, Elder W. L. Eikenberry of the Uni- 
versity of Chicago became a member of the faculty of the 
University of Kansas and entered into the activities of the 
congregation, occasionally occupying the pulpit and regu- 
larly teaching a Sunday School class. During the school 
years, 1916-1918, Professor J. A. Blair, a member of the 
faculty of McPherson College, was associated with the work 
of the church. John H. Hoover, a graduate of McPherson 
College and a graduate student in the University of Kansas, 


for two years did acceptable service for the congregation. 

A great handicap to the growth of the church for many 
years was the absence of a church building. Finally, largely 
through the efforts of the Aid Society, an organization 
dating back to the very beginning of the church, a lot for 
a building was bought (January, 1903). Solicitation in the 
district brought sufficient funds to erect a building. A com- 
modious church is located on the corner of Fourteenth and 
New Hampshire streets. It was dedicated by Elder D. A. 
Crist on December 10, 1911. The indebtedness was entirely 
removed in 1917. The present membership (1919) is forty- 

Elders in charge have been I. L. Hoover (Dec. 8, 1900- 
Jan. 10, 1903), C. J. Hooper (Jan. 10, 1903-Feb. 12, 1910), 
and H. L. Brammell (Feb. 12, 1910 — ). 


Whether Limestone was ever an independent congrega- 
tion or not is a matter of some uncertainty, but Howard 
Miller, in his "Record of the Faithful," says it was organ- 
ized in 1877, with a membership of forty. It seems, from 
meager data at hand, that Limestone was at first a part of 
the Burr Oak and White Rock congregations, but since 
their territory covered about one hundred and thirty miles 
east and west, it was necessary that something be done 
to care for the members living about twelve miles south 
of Burr Oak. 

In the latter seventies there were a number of Brethren 
living in Limestone and Ionia townships, south of Burr Oak. 
Among these members were Alex. Zantz and wife, Brother 
and Sister Hively, George Montgomery and wife, Sister 
Peters, Caleb Kinzie and wife, David Ballard and wife, 
Sister Teeter, Daniel Gish and wife, Peter Wolfe and wife, 
David Dale and wife, Daniel Firestone and wife, David Root 
and wife, and Elias Dale. 

As far as is known four ministers were called at Lime- 
stone. They were Jacob Shuler, William Austin (1879), 
Jacob Basehore, and Elias Dale. The last named was elected 
on October 1, 1884. "The Brethren at Work and Regis- 
ter," published in 1882, lists the following ministers as 
living at Ionia, presumably within the Limestone church : 
Absalom Deeter, George Montgomery, Andrew Root, and 
Jacob Shuler. 


J. L. Switzer says that nearly all of the Limestone mem- 
bers went to Missouri. A number, however, "took a stand" 
with the Old Orders in 1882, under the leadership of George 
Montgomery, who, with Jacob Shuler, is now a minister in 
the Eight Mile congregation of that church, in Franklin 
county. Probably twenty-five identified themselves with 
the Old Orders, who established a church under the name 
of Limestone, but which is now defunct. 


Lone Star is a village located about twelve miles south- 
west of Lawrence, in Douglas county. For many years 
there has been a union Sunday School kept up here in a 
school house, the Brethren co-operating with the Progres- 
sives and others in its maintenance. In August, 1916, 
through the efforts of a few Brethren of the Washington 
Creek congregation (to which the Lone Star members be- 
longed), C. S. Garber of St. Joseph, Mo., came for a three 
weeks' revival meeting. This series of meetings was held 
in a tent in a grove at Lone Star. There were many con- 
verts. Agitation soon arose for a church building. A com- 
modious, up-to-date structure was erected near the place 
where the revival had been held and it was dedicated by 
President D. W. Kurtz of McPherson College on July 14, 
1918. On January 15, 1921 - , Lone Star became a congrega- 
tion separate from Washington Creek and also included in 
its membership the former Pleasant Grove members. L. H. 
Griffith is at present (1921) the minister in charge. 


As a separate congregation, McLouth is one of the 
youngest in the state, but for many years there have been 
members in the community who held membership at 
Ozawkie. The earliest Brethren settlers were David Kim- 
mel and wife and H. H. Kimmel and wife, all of whom came 
from Ohio, the former in the spring of 1867 and the latter 
in about 1881. Another of the early members was Abraham 
L. Bowman, a minister, formerly of the Sugar Creek church 
at Auburn, 111. Bro. Bowman died in 1887. 

In 1882 there were some twelve members in the neigh- 
borhood and they had preaching three times a month. In 
December, 1882, I. H. Crist of Olathe held a series of meet- 


ings three miles north of McLouth. There were soon twenty- 
five members on the list. Bro. Crist conducted another re- 
vival in November, 1893, in the Round Grove school house, 
three miles north of McLouth. 

The church building was erected in the town of Mc- 
Louth in 1894 and was the joint property of the Church of 
the Brethren and the Brethren (Progressive) . It was dedi- 
cated on December 25, 1894. The Progressives had organ- 
ized on April 2, 1892, with W. J. H. Bauman as bishop. In 
1901, there were sixty Progressives in the local church. 

The organization of the McLouth church occurred on 
the evening of September 4, 1917. Elders I. L. Hoover, 
H. L. Brammell, and W. 0. Beckner perfected the organi- 
zation. The charter members were H. H. Kimmel and wife, 
J. H. Martz and wife, D. Earl Bower, Luther Willcot and 
wife, Sarah and Van Vandruff, A. M. Bricker and wife, and 
U. S. Large and wife. I. H. Crist, who became pastor on 
April 15, 1917, was elected elder in charge. The deacons 
were H. H. Kimmel and A. M. Bricker. The membership in 
1918 was thirty-seven. 

From 1909 to 1914, George D. Kuns served McLouth as 
pastor. Upon leaving he became pastor of the First Church 
of the Brethren in Philadelphia, Pa. He is a graduate of 
McPherson College with the class of 1904, and a graduate 
of the Divinity School of the University of Chicago. From 
January 1 to June 19, 1915, C. S. Garber served as pastor. 
Bro. Crist served as pastor and elder from 1916 until April, 
1919, when, owing to a break-down in his health due to the 
Spanish influenza, he moved to Middleburg, Florida, to re- 
main indefinitely. 

In the cemetery near the church are buried the follow- 
ing ministers who served the church in days gone by : David 
Kimmel, Abraham L. Bowman, J. Edward Smith, and J. R. 



No one seems to remember exactly when the Brethren 
first began to hold services in the city of McPherson, but 
in the spring of 1876, Joseph Elliott of Peabody began hold- 
ing regular monthly appointments in a school house about 
nine miles south of McPherson. Nine were baptized that 
summer. It is also known that L. E. Fahrney of the Nines- 
cah (now Salem) church preached in McPherson in an 
early day. 


In 1882, C. W. Brubaker, formerly of Lancaster county, 
Pennsylvania, but then living near Galva, Kansas, said there 
were about a dozen members living in McPherson county. 
Bro. Brubaker had lived in the county for about seven years. 
There was no resident minister but George W. Thomas of 
Peabody came to preach every four weeks. In the fall of 
1882, the scattered members expressed themselves willing 
to give at least fifteen dollars to have a preacher come to 
hold a revival. Occasional services were held at various 
school houses by such brethren as John Forney, J. D. 
Trostle, and L. E. Fahrney. 

Members seem to have come in gradually. On May 13, 
1885, at least seventeen Brethren arrived at Galva from 
Pennsylvania. On July 27, 1885, J. A. Brugh, living near 
Galva, wrote as follows in the Gospel Messenger: "We, 
the McPherson Brethren, will meet on the 22nd of August 
to organize a church. Also in the evening on the same day 
[we] will hold our Love Feast if the Lord is willing. It will 
be at Bro. Masterson's two and a half miles south and 
one and a half east of Galva ." According to announce- 
ment this meeting was held at the home of Joseph S. Mas- 
terson, in Empire township. Elders J. D. Trostle, John 
Forney, and Daniel Hollinger were present and assisted in 
the organization. Twenty-three members were reported in 
the county. J. D. Yoder of Hayes township was clerk of 
the meeting. J. D. Trostle was elected elder in charge. 
Frank H. Bradley and Casper Hosfelt were the only min- 
isters of the Brethren in McPherson county, but at the 
organization of the church Jacob A. Brugh was elected to 
the ministry. Joseph S. Masterson was at the same time 
elected a deacon. Bro. Masterson's corncrib was used to 
house the communicants on the evening of August 22. The 
charter members were J. D. and Sara Yoder, J. S. and Fannie 
Masterson, Michael and Mattie Wieland, David and Mary 
Ginder, Jacob A. Brugh, John A. and Minerva Moomaw, 
J. W. Mishler, Chris. C. and Kate Brubaker, Frank and Adra 
Bradley, Casper and Lydia Hosfelt, Maria Hosfelt, Fannie 
Masterson, J. S. and Anna Nornhold, and Lydia Huey. 
These members were originally a part of the Peabody and 
Ninescah congregations. 

Early council meetings were held at the Scrabble Hill 
and Flora Hill school houses and at the homes of the mem- 


bers. On February 5, 1887, two committees were appointed 
to select suitable sites for church houses and graveyards — 
one of each in both the east and west ends of the congrega- 
tion. The site selected for one church was the corner just 
north of the Diamond school house. This was known as the 
East McPherson church building. The other site was the 
northwest corner of section seven, Groveland township. 
This was called the Monitor church. 

Strictly speaking, the history of the McPherson church 
proper begins with the establishment of the college at Mc- 
Pherson in 1887. The summer of that year brought a num- 
ber of members to the city. In March, 1888, there were 
seventeen Brethren families in McPherson. Until April 
7, 1888, the Swedish Mission church was used for services. 
On the date indicated a church meeting was held in the 
first building erected on the college campus, now known as 
Fahnestock Hall. Henceforth, all services in McPherson 
were held on the campus, Sharp Administration Hall, how- 
ever, being eventually used. The first revival was held in 
January, 1888, by M. M. Eshelman and F. H. Bradley. 

Convenience soon dictated that East McPherson and 
Monitor be made separate churches. The former is now 
disorganized but the latter is one of the strongest churches 
of the state. The McPherson church has always been one 
of the largest in the state because of its large student mem- 
bership. In 1920 it had about three hundred members. 

No church in Kansas has elected more men to the min- 
istry than has McPherson. The following list is probably 
almost complete: C. E. Arnold (August, 1894), S. Ira Arnold 
(April 5, 1909), Paul K. Brandt (February 19, 1917), Amos 
R. Boone (February 18, 1918), A. 0. Brubaker (April 9, 
1908), Warnie Brubaker (February 17, 1919), J. A. Brugh 
(August 22, 1885), John A. Clement (1902), Foster W. 
Cline (April 3, 1905), Andrew J. Crumpacker (April 1, 
1907), Harry C. Crumpacker (April 1, 1907), Herbert J. 
Detrick (April 2, 1906), Grover C. Dotzour (April 3, 1911), 
Samuel S. Ebbert (February 18, 1918), Enoch H. Eby (May 
16, 1900), Edward Frantz (March 21, 1891), J. Clyde For- 
ney (April 6, 1914), James Z. Gilbert (January 9, 1892), 
Ernest L. Ikenberry (February 19, 1917), Galen Jones 
(April 19, 1915), J. Estel Jones (April 19, 1915), Frank P. 
John (April 5, 1909), George D. Kuns (January 4, 1897), 


Beauford F. Miller (January 17, 1921) Sebastian C. Mil- 
ler (April 3, 1905), Frank E. Mohler (February 19,1917), 
Harvey H. Nininger (April 3, 1911), Conrad D. Rasp (April 
2, 1906), Harvey Snowberger (April 9, 1908), Jonathan D. 
Schmidt (April 19, 1915), Joseph B. Shirky, Henry R. 
Stover (February 17, 1919), B. S. Trostle (April 1, 1907), 
John E. Throne (April 2, 1906), Ernest D. Vaniman (April 

5, 1909), Francis A. Vaniman (January 9, 1892), and 
Edward B. Van Pelt (February 17, 1919). Brethren Clem- 
ent, Cline, Trostle, and F. A. Vaniman did not accept the 
ministry. The names of brethren A. J. Crumpacker, H. C. 
Crumpacker, Harvey H. Nininger, Frank E. Mohler, and 
C. D. Rasp are now dropped from the ministerial list. The 
following have been ordained in the McPherson church: C. E. 
Arnold (May 21, 1898), Oliver H. Austin (April 3, 1916), 
William O. Beckner (October 8, 1916), Isaac S. Brubaker 
(January, 1901), Frank H. Crumpacker (September 16, 
1907), Arthur J. Culler (November 16, 1914), Edward 
Frantz (April 14, 1897), J. P. Harshbarger (May 21, 1898), 
E. B. Hoff (April 14, 1897), Ellis M. Studebaker (January 

6, 1913), and A. C. Wieand (May 21, 1898). The church 
has been successively in charge of the following elders: 
J. D. Trostle, A. M. Dickey, Levi D. Mohler, Isaac S. Bru- 
baker, and E. E. John. 

At various times the congregation has kept up several 
outlying appointments, such as Bridgeport, West Kentuck, 
Centennial, and Elyria. Some of our ablest young min- 
isters began their careers in filling these appointments. 

Much might be said of the great talent developed for 
the Church of the Brethren in the McPherson church. It 
was in this church that C. E. Arnold, Edward Frantz, J. H. 
B. Williams, W. O. Beckner, H. C. Crumpacker, and J. 
Edwin Jarboe preached their first sermons. It was here 
that missionary zeal seized such students as Gertrude Ryan, 
E. H. Eby, Emma Horner Eby, F. H. Crumpacker, Anna 
Newland Crumpacker, George W. Hilton, Blanche Hilton, 
Emma Horning, Daniel L. Horning, Martha Daggett Horn- 
ing, Ernest D. Vaniman, Susie Neher Vaniman, Andrew T. 
Hoffert, Raymond C. Flory, Lizzie Neher Flory, S. Ira 
Arnold, Lulu Ullom, Samuel B. Bowman, Pearl Stauffer 
Bowman, and others who have carried on the great mission- 
ary program. 


It was not until 1907 that the McPherson church em- 
ployed a regular pastor. Frank H. Crumpacker was the 
first supported pastor. He served from November 15, 1907, 
to April 6, 1908. From 1909 to 1912 J. J. Yoder was pastor. 
On September 1, 1914, A. J. Culler, B.D., Ph.D. became 
pastor, which position he held until the spring of 1921. 
From April, 1919, to January 26, 1920, Dr. Culler was ab- 
sent from his pastorate while superintending the work of 
relief for the Church of the Brethren in Armenia. Under 
his leading the congregation has experienced substantial 

Although numerous moves were made toward the erec- 
tion of a church in the McPherson congregation, it was not 
until February 18, 1918, that the following building com- 
mittee was appointed to lay plans for a one hundred thou- 
sand dollar church: A. J. Culler, S. P. Crumpacker, F. P. 
Detter, Sadie Dresher, Susie Heaston, Joseph Andes, J. A. 
Flory, F. A. Vaniman, and A. K. Curtis. Work was begun 
on this building on November 4, 1920. The places of Breth- 
ren Detter and Flory on the committee were filled by E. W. 
Keim and Ammon Swope. 


The details of the origin of this church are unique and 
are to be found in chapter four of this book. Suffice it to 
say here that Maple Grove was a colony of Brethren organ- 
ized in Montgomery county, Iowa, to settle in Kansas. N. C. 
Workman was the guiding spirit of the enterprise. 

Chapter four traces the experiment through the trying 
times of the year 1879-1880. The year 1881 apparently 
brought better prospects for the church, in spite of the 
spirit of division so prevalent in the church in general. 
"Conservatism and Progressionism, ,, wrote N. C. Workman, 
"are scarcely mentioned among us and when it [sic] is, it 
is only to express our pity for the disturbers of our peace 

in the Brotherhood. We are too busy here in our church 

to find time to dispute about unimportant matters. We 
have council every four weeks and five regular appointments 
for preaching, besides social meeting every Thursday eve- 
ning. Our meetings are all well attended and much interest 
is manifested." 

However, in 1882, Elders Workman and Shaffer and 
Bro. Jarboe moved away and the remaining ministers, 


among them Michael Lichty, along with a large proportion 
of the membership because Progressives. There were one 
hundred and forty members in 1882. The Maple Grove 
Progressive church, located at Rockwell City, was organized 
in 1883, by Jacob Armsberger, formerly a Conservative 
minister. Mount Zion, another Progressive church, joined 
the Maple Grove church on the east. For a time K. Heck- 
man, one of the Conservative ministers, associated with the 

The following have been elected to the ministry by the 
Maple Grove congregation: Isaiah Harader (September or 
October, 1883), J. R. Garber (1883), G. M. Throne (Novem- 
ber 16, 1887), George H. Friend (January 9, 1897), 
A. J. Wertenberger (May 26, 1900) , Charles Albin (January 
11, 1921), and Guy Ankenman (January 11, 1921). There 
have been at least three ordinations: G. M. Throne (May 8, 
1898), A. J. Wertenberger (October 30, 1909), and C. 0. 
Bogart (October 30, 1917). The oversight has been in the 
hands of the following brethren: N. C. Workman, Isaac 
Studebaker, Powell B. Porter, John Ikenberry, J. R. Garber, 
J. B. Wertz, G. M. Throne, I. S. Lerew, B. E. Kesler, A. J. 
Wertenberger, and J. E. Small. 

The Maple Grove congregation enjoys the distinction 
of having had possibly the only sod church among the 
Brethren in Kansas. It was built in 1879, and was in use 
until at least 1884, when incessant rains made it of little 
use. Various school houses were then used for some years, 
among them Murphy and Lone Hand. On September 24, 
1893, the new church was dedicated by Elder B. B. Whitmer. 
It is located fourteen miles northwest of Norton. In 1916, 
an addition was built to the church. 

In October, 1919, August Becker became pastor of the 
Maple Grove congregation, which position he held for a 
time. He was succeeded by John Oxley, the present pastor 
(1921). A revival, conducted by C. C. Meyers from Decem- 
ber 12, 1920, to January 11, 1921, resulted in twenty-three 

(Thomas County) 

The first Brethren to settle in Thomas county, so far 
as is known, were M. E. Brown and wife, C. H. Brown and 
wife, M. S. Brown and wife, Frank Mitchell and wife, B. 


Sheroch and wife, Joseph Burger and wife, George Ells- 
worth and wife, and Samuel Wine and wife. The Brown 
families and the Mitchell family were from Jewell county, 
Kansas, and the Wines were from Octavia, Nebraska. Some 
of the others were from Iowa. Most of them came to 
Thomas county about the year 1886. 

The church was variously called — Thomas county, 
Colby, and Menlo. It was organized out of territory be- 
longing to the Quinter congregation. Elders John Iken- 
berry and B. B. Whitmer perfected the organization on 
June 1, 1889. There was no church building and the mem- 
bers made use of the Fairview school house, located two and 
one-half miles northwest of the town of Menlo. Services 
were also some times held in the town school house and in 
District Fifty-six. B. B. Whitmer was the first elder in 

In 1898, Elder John F. Cline and family of Smith 
county, located in Thomas county, near Colby, the District 
Mission Board having decided to give partial support to 
Brother Cline. Soon after his arrival, Brother Cline was 
chosen elder in charge, which position he held until his 
removal to McPherson. He, B. B. Whitmer, and D. A. Crist 
did most of the preaching. There were many calls for 
services, far and near. While a member of this church, 
C. H. Brown was ordained (June 6, 1891), to the eldership, 
and was for a time elder in charge. He now lives (1921) 
at Lowell, Arkansas. 

The membership at Menlo was never very large — pos- 
sibly never over thirty — and it was much scattered. The 
year, 1890, brought almost a total failure of crops. Drouths 
and hard years discouraged the Brethren and eventually 
(1904) the church was disorganized by Elders D. A. Crist 
and T. E. George and the members were assigned to the 
Quinter congregation. 


It was on March 22, 1879, that J. D. Yoder, one of the 
prime movers of the Monitor congregation, arrived in 
Hutchinson from Somerset county, Pennsylvania. He 
located with his family in Hayes township, McPherson 
county. There were no other Brethren in the community. 
The nearest churches were those of Salem and Peabody, 
and it was in the latter that the letters of the newcomers 


were placed. While attending a love-feast at Peabody Bro. 
Yoder secured the services of G. W. Thomas, who in the fall 
of 1880, conducted a revival in the South Liberty school 
house near Bro. Yoder's home. Later, other ministers 
visited the locality and preached. Among them were J. W. 
Beer, J. D. Trostle, L. E. Fahrney and F. H. Bradley. 

In 1885, as noted elsewhere, the members in McPherson 
county were organized at the home of Joseph S. Masterson 
in Empire township. But those living in the western part 
of the county found themselves too far away from this cen- 
ter; hence, at a church business meeting held on February 
7, 1887, at the Flora school house, committees were ap- 
pointed to select two sites for church buildings, one of which 
should be located in the western part of the congregation. 
In one month to a day it was decided to locate the western 
house on the northwest corner of section seven of Grove- 
land township. On August 6, 1887, a building committee 
was appointed. On November 5, 1887, the committee made 
a final report recommending the name Monitor for the new 
house. J. D. Yoder, J. H. Bosserman, and D. R. Yoder 
became trustees of the building. 

As a separate organization Monitor began on April 21, 
1890, Elders J. D. Trostle and Daniel Vaniman presiding at 
the organization. There were two ministers — George E. 
Studebaker and S. G. Lehmer. The very first records of 
Monitor show her reaching out and evangelizing her en- 
vironment. For a time services were held at Medora and at 
Groveland. An appointment at the South Liberty school 
house was kept up until April 6, 1901. 

The activity of the church attracted the attention of the 
Christian church and finally a debate was arranged. The 
minutes of August 19, 1894, make this statement: "The 
matter of a discussion on the Bible doctrines between Bro. 
Shamberger of Indiana and Elder H. A. Kerr of McPher- 
son, representing the Christian church, was explained to 
the members and it was moved and seconded that we as a 
church endorse Bro. Shamberger as being competent to 
represent and defend any forms and doctrines practiced by 
the Brethren that may be agreed upon between aforesaid 
disputants." This debate occurred, as arranged for, on 
November 10 to 13, 1894, Bro. Geo. A. Shamberger main- 
taining the Brethren position on four propositions. The 


debate proved hurtful to the Brethren cause in the com- 

The Monitor church has always been quick to recognize 
talent in the membership and thus the ministerial force has 
been adequate to the needs. A number of elections and 
ordinations have occurred. The first election was that of 
S. J. Miller, now President of LaVerne College. He was 
called in 1891. His ordination occurred at Monitor in 1899. 
George E. Studebaker was ordained April 29, 1893, by F. H. 
Bradley and Henry Brubaker. J. J. Yoder was elected on 
June 11, 1892, advanced on April 29, 1893, and ordained by 
A. M. Dickey and S. J. Miller on January 5, 1901. M. J. 
Mishler was elected on June 22, 1895, advanced on July 4, 
1896, and ordained, along with J. J. Yoder, on the date above 
indicated. 0. Holtgren was elected to the ministry on Octo- 
ber 17, 1896. W. 0. Beckner was advanced to second degree 
■of the ministry by the Monitor congregation on September 
29, 1900. On July 27, 1907, William H. Yoder and Harvey 
M. Brubaker were called to the ministry. Both of these 
young men had completed the Normal course at McPherson 
College. The dates of their advancement are July 1, 1911, 
and December 27, 1909, respectively. Bro. Yoder was or- 
dained on November 28, 1914, by Elders Jacob Witmore and 
E. M. Studebaker. On May 26, 1917, Floyd E. Mishler was 
elected to the ministry. On March 27, 1920, Crawford F. 
Brubaker was elected to the ministry. For sufficient rea- 
sons two ministers — Arthur Sell and O. Holtgren — were re- 
lieved from the ministry. 

J. D. Trostle served as elder in charge from the begin- 
ning until February 16, 1895, when Henry Brubaker super- 
seded him. The latter resigned on January 4, 1896, on 
which date A. M. Dickey was chosen. He was succeeded by 
J. J. Yoder on the date mentioned. Elder Yoder served 
until December 30, 1911, M. J. Mishler succeeding. Bro. 
Mishler served until November 26, 1916, when W. H. Yoder, 
the pastor, took charge as elder. Upon his removal to Mor- 
rill, the new pastor, E. F. Sherfy, also became elder in 

A supported ministry came very naturally. The first 
supported pastor was W. H. Yoder, a native product who 
knew local conditions and problems. In order to prepare 
himself for his work he returned to McPherson College and 


took his A. B. with the class of 1915, assuming his duties 
immediately upon graduation. Upon his resignation in 
May, 1919, Elder Ernest F. Sherfy became pastor, in which 
office he still labors (1921). Both of these men have at- 
tained some reputation as evangelists. 

The Monitor congregation is now worshiping in its 
second building. The house erected in 1887 proved inade- 
quate and on December 26, 1908, a building committee was 
selected, consisting of J. D. Yoder, J. W. Mishler, E. E. 
Yoder, M. J. Mishler, and J. J. Yoder. In due time a com- 
modious structure costing $8,300 occupied the place where 
the old church stood. On June 11, 1915, a committee was 
authorized to spend $2,000 for a parsonage. This neat build- 
ing was erected just east of the church building. 

The moral tone of the community has been noticeably 
affected by the presence of the Monitor church. In 1908, 
these words were used in describing neighborhood condi- 
tions: "We are not afflicted with dances and card parties; 
there is practically no stealing ; our men are leaders in busi- 
ness affairs, members of school boards, successful farmers, 
and model home builders." As a community center Monitor 
has excited wide-spread comment. No one has done more 
to originate and foster this idea here than Professor J. J. 
Yoder, a member of the McPherson College faculty, but 
whose interests are still in a measure in the country congre- 
gation. In April of each year a community day is held, on 
which occasion the whole neighborhood meets at the church 
for a day of good things. Addresses on topics educational, 
rural, religious, social, or economic, fill up a large part of 
the day. Athletics, a basket dinner, and a musical are also 
special features. A regular lecture course during the winter 
has been maintained since 1914. It has proved a success 
from every angle. 

Monitor has always been a warm friend of higher edu- 
cation in general and of McPherson College in particular. 
At least twenty of her sons and daughters are alumni of 
that institution. Many others have attended but finished 
no prescribed course. Five of the ministers called here are 
college graduates. Many of the Monitor young people have 
taught school. 

The District and the general Brotherhood have recog- 
nized Monitor in a signal way. M. J. Mishler, until 1917 


a member of the congregation, has for some years been a 
member of the District Mission Board. He was secretary 
of the Committee of Arrangements of the Annual Confer- 
ence in 1917 and 1920. J. J. Yoder has long been President 
of the District Mission Board. Since 1908, he has been a 
member of the General Mission Board. Missionary spirit 
has always run high. On December 29, 1905, it was voted 
to give fifty dollars a year toward the support of two mis- 
sionaries from the district on the foreign field. This was 
devoted to the support of the Crumpackers in China. On 
May 26, 1917, Myrtle Ferris Pollock was recommended to 
the Brotherhood as a candidate for the foreign field. She 
is now serving in China. In 1919, J. D. Yoder, the father 
of the Monitor church, assumed the support in China of 
Lulu Ullom, a granddaughter of Elder Daniel Vaniman. Bro. 
Yoder has on other occasions remembered the cause of mis- 
sions with substantial gifts. He is also a generous patron 
of McPherson College and the Old Folks' Home at Dar- 

The present membership (1920) of Monitor is one 
hundred and twenty. Up to 1908, a total of one hundred 
and eight had been baptized into the church. A large num- 
ber of the converts have come from homes not identified 
with the Brethren. 

(Formerly Cedar Creek) 

"In the year 1872," says Bro. Peter Hartman of Cha- 
nute, Kansas, "there were only three members of the 
Church of the Brethren in Anderson county that we knew 
of." These were John Miller and wife and Sister Lydia 
Eichholtz, who came in the spring of 1871 and settled twelve 
miles west of Garnett. In the spring of 1872, however, 
Jesse Studebaker and wife, with their five children, moved 
in from Pleasant Hill, Miami county, Ohio, and settled on 
the same place on which Bro. Miller lived. The same year 
Burgess Hadsell and wife and Peter Struble and wife set- 
tled near by. Thus, by fall there were nine members. Sol. 
Kauffman, an uncle of Sisters Studebaker, Eichholtz, and 
Miller, offered some inducements to bring these families to 

The church was organized at the home of Peter Struble, 
a minister formerly of Shelby county, Ohio. There were 
eleven charter members, two having been baptized on the 


day of organization. These two were Chris. Rodabaugh and 
wife. Elders Daniel Barnhart and Isaac Hershey presided 
at the organization. Cedar Creek was the name chosen for 
the new congregation. 

The church grew steadily, mostly by baptisms. In 
1873, there were thirty-two members; in 1874, there were 
thirty-five; and in 1875, there were forty. In 1875, there 
were three ministers and three deacons. There were preach- 
ing appointments at the Eagle, Hyatt, Glenwood, Cherry 
Mound, Young, and Mount Joy school houses. Services were 
also held in the Presbyterian church in Central City. Bro. 
Studebaker preached from two to three sermons each Sun- 
day in these different places. Three churches — Cedar 
Creek, Verdigris, and Cana — bought a large tent in the early 
seventies and used it on love feast occasions. On September 
8 and 9, 1875, a love feast was held at the home of Jacob 
Eichholtz, eight miles northwest of Garnett. 

Grasshopper year (1874) brought hardships to the 
church. They appealed to the Brotherhood for aid, espe- 
cially to the churches of Iowa. Bro. Studebaker arranged 
with the railroad to ship free from Kansas City to Garnett 
three carloads of provisions. A couple carloads of grain 
and corn meal came from Iowa. Cash gifts to the amount 
of almost six hundred dollars were received by May 29, 
1875, for the grasshopper plague was prolonged into that 
year. Most of the members staid through these trying 

The church grew under Brother Studebaker's wise 
leading. In 1874, he was ordained to the eldership and 
henceforth was much in demand among the churches of the 
eastern part of the state, but he never neglected the work 
of the home congregation. In 1887, because of the increas- 
ing size of the congregation, which now numbered about 
one hundred forty, and the distance at which some of the 
member lived from the place of worship, the Scott Valley 
church was organized out of the western members of Cedar 

The following elders have held oversight of the church : 
Jesse Studebaker, J. A. Stouder, S.E.Lantz, F.G.Edwards, 
Chas. A. Miller, M. E. Stair, Lafayette Watkins, and R. W. 
Quakenbush. The church has called the following men to 
the ministry: E. J. Miller, Ephraim Studebaker, James 


Shaw, Lafayette Watkins (1883), George Colbert, Elias 
Giffin (January 14, 1893), and Joseph Studebaker (August 
24, 1895). Three men have been ordained. They were 
Jesse Studebaker (1874), Lafayette Watkins (September 
10, 1897), and F. G. Edwards (December 31, 1910). 

For some years the membership has been on the de- 
cline. In 1893, it was seventy-two. In 1890, it was ninety. 
In 1907, it was forty-eight. Some members have migrated 
east to Ohio and Indiana, while some have gone west to 
California, Washington, or western Kansas. There are 
isolated members at Kincaid and at Lone Elm. On March 
21, 1908, the name of the congregation was changed from 
Cedar Creek to Mont Ida in order to correspond to the name 
of the postoffice. 

The church building, located in the southwest part of 
town, was dedicated on May 31, 1891. A storm wrecked the 
building so severely on August 28, 1920, that it had to be 
repaired considerably before it could again be used for 


It is quite probable that Joel Root, his wife, and their 
married daughter, Mrs. Mary Ann Hartzell, were the first 
members of the Church of the Brethren to locate in Brown 
county. They came in the year 1856 or early the next year. 
In 1858, there came W. H. H. Sawyer, his wife, his mother, 
John Root, wife, and son, Jacob, and wife, and their son, 
David. These members were to become a part of the Wolf 
River congregation, as described elsewhere in this book. 
Other members, coming in 1859, were John Royer and wife, 
Henry Royer and wife, Daniel Marker, and Emanuel Royer, 
but they were counted in with the Ozawkie church. 

There is no record of other members until June, 1870, 
when Jonathan Lichty moved from Dixon, Illinois, to Brown 
county. He settled near Hamlin but found no Brethren in 
that community, although he subsequently heard of the 
Wolf River members, located in the southeast corner of 
Brown and in Doniphan county. In a few years, however, 
members began to immigrate from Illinois, many coming 
from Lanark, among them Elder Martin Meyers, most of 
whose children were already living near Morrill. 

The church, first known as Pony Creek, was organized 
in April, 1871, with J. J. Lichty as the first elder in charge. 


The following names of charter members are given: J. J. 
Lichty and wife, John Frey and wife, Daniel Frey and wife, 
Sister Bergner, Sister Rhodes, Bro. Lutz and wife, Ed. D. 
Spangler and wife, Noah Kimmel and wife, J. W. Hawn and 
wife, Brother and Sister Royer, Brother and Sister Bing- 
ham, and Brother Friend. Brother Sawyer and the mem- 
bers at Wolf River were also included with the Pony Creek 
church, since Wolf River had declined and had been under 
the care of the Ozawkie congregation. In 1881, however, 
Wolf River was revived and Brother Sawyer was ordained. 
In 1881, there were about two hundred members in Pony 

The year 1882, was a notable one for Pony Creek. In 
the spring of that year the congregation was divided into 
three parts, bearing the names of Pony Creek, Morrill, and 
Sabetha. The same year the Progressive movement invaded 
the church. W. J. H. Bauman was then elder in charge. He 
was charged with affiliating and communing with expelled 
members and was accordingly disfellowshipped (November, 
1882). He was, however, reinstated in two days and con- 
tinued to preach. He was again expelled in the summer of 
1883. About twenty members, including two or three dea- 
cons and one minister, J. H. Burnworth, adhered to him 
and organized the Pony Creek Progressive Brethren church, 
of which Brother Bauman became the elder. Brother Saw- 
yer than became elder of the Conservatives. 

The church building, erected in 1881 and situated three 
and one-half miles north of Morrill, thereupon became a 
bone of contention. The Conservatives tried to secure the 
deed to the land but could not. After some negotiation, in 
which the Conservatives tried to buy half of the church 
house, the Progressives bought out the Conservatives for 
the sum of one thousand dollars. Not wishing to cause con- 
fusion by retaining the name of Pony Creek, the Conserva- 
tives thereupon built a church two miles east and one north 
of the old Pony Creek building and called it North Morrill. 
It was dedicated on December 23, 1888. In 1889, ninety 
members were reported at North Morrill. 

Meanwhile, the Brethren who had settled south of Mor- 
rill were making use of the Eagle school house for church 
services. In 1884, a church was erected two miles south 
and one-half miles east of Morrill and was called the South 


Morrill church. This building was subsequently torn down 
(1905) and moved to town and there rebuilt. North Mor- 
rill church house was wrecked by a storm (May 17, 1896) 
and since there was now a church in town (dedicated in 
1895) it was never rebuilt. 

The increasing size of the congregation demanded bet- 
ter accommodations. In 1918, the new brick church was 
finished at a cost of $33,000, with a seating capacity of one 
thousand. Its size is seventy by ninety feet. Dedication 
services took place on March 17, 1918, when Dr. D. W. 
Kurtz gave a stirring address and made an appeal which 
resulted in the pledging of the last $13,000 of the money 
necessary for the payment of the cost of the church. Dedi- 
cation day was said to have been the greatest event that 
the town had ever seen. 

The following have been elected to the ministry since 
the earliest beginning of the work: J. H. Burnworth (1884), 
John Eisenbise (June 11, 1887), Jesse Wallace (June 11, 
1887), T. A. Eisenbise (September 3, 1897), Carl E. Wallace 
(September 3, 1897), Albert Sawyer (December 16, 1914), 
Eldon Engle (December 16, 1914). There have been two 
ministers ordained; namely, William Davis (?) and David 
Bowers (1891). At various times the oversight has been 
held by J. J. Lichty, William Gish, W. J. H. Bauman, W. H. 
H. Sawyer, J. S. Mohler, William Davis, P. E. Whitmer, 
Charles M. Yearout, C. B. Smith, J. J. Yoder, and W. H. 

For some years the congregation has had a hired pas- 
tor. Chas. M. Yearout, C. B. Smith, and W. H. Yoder have 
served as pastors. Morrill has always been one of the 
largest congregations in the state of Kansas. 


It was probably in about 1879 that Isaiah Fiant and 
Rachel, his wife, late of Indiana, took a homestead near 
the Kanyon school house, two miles east of the town of 
Savonburg in Allen county. They lived within the bounds 
of the Paint Creek church in Bourbon county. Being rather 
isolated, however, they called on M. D. Watson of the 
Paint Creek Church, to come over to hold meetings in 
their community. 

On Christmas day, 1880, Bro. Watson left his home 


and went twelve miles over into Allen county, where for 
nine days he held services in the Kanyon school house. 
Thirteen were converted as a result of this effort. There 
were not large crowds on account of the cold weather and 
the snow drifts. Arrangements were made, however, to 
have social meetings among the members and their neigh- 
bors who were interested. On March 6, 1881, another re- 
vival was held, brethren M. D. Watson, William Stock- 
myer, and A. C. Numer conducting it. There were fif- 
teen converts. 

About New Year's day, 1882, M. T. Baer, M. D. Watson, 
A. C. Numer, and others went from the Paint Creek church 
and organized a congregation out of the converts of the 
two revivals. Mount Zion was chosen as the name of the 
new church. There were twenty-four members. Two 
deacons were elected at the organization, John Richard and 
William Welchel. The new congregation was dependent 
upon Paint Creek for ministerial aid. 

But Mount Zion was subject to emigration. Many mem- 
bers moved away and never even took the pains to call for 
letters of membership. In about 1893 Bro. and Sister Fiant 
left the community. When their son, William, and his wife 
left in 1899 there were probably no more members left in 
Allen county. Mount Zion was disorganized and its terri- 
tory and members reverted to Paint Creek. 


(Formerly Kingman) 

Jeremiah Yiengst and D. R. Kline, with their wives, 
were the first Brethren in the community of the present 
Murdock church. The former came to Kansas perhaps in 
about 1885 ; the latter was from Pennsylvania and was living 
near Murdock for five or six years before the church was 
started. The first services of the Brethren were held from 
February 14 to 21, 1886, in the Dewey school house, two 
miles east of Murdock, by brethren George Widder and 
S. M. Brown. 

The church, originally known as the Kingman church, 
was organized by Lemuel Hillery and John Wise, on Sep- 
tember 13, 1886. The members were S. H. Sprogle, Kate 
Sprogle, Clayton Sprogle, D. R. Kline, Leah Kline, C. E. Delp, 
Ada Delp, S. E. Delp, Emma Delp, Jeremiah Yiengst, Mary 


Yiengst, William Shrock, Elizabeth Shrock, Emma Dewey, 
and Kate Wolf. Most of the charter members were from 
Pennsylvania and from Stephenson county, Illinois. At the 
organization John Wise was elected elder in charge, Jere- 
miah Yiengst was elected a deacon and treasurer, and D. R. 
Kline became clerk. Dr. S. H. Sprogle, formerly of Shan- 
non, Illinois, was a minister in the second degree. 

In the earlier days services were held at various places, 
such as in the town of Cleveland, in the Dewey and Kline 
school houses, and especially in the Hawk school house, 
southeast of Cleveland and some six or seven miles south of 
Kingman. Several attempts were made to build a church 
but it was not until 1908, that a building was erected. It is 
situated two miles southeast of the town of Murdock. Dedi- 
cation services were held on August 3, 1908, W. 0. Beckner 
of McPherson, preaching the sermon. The name of the 
congregation, including within its limits all of Kingman 
county, was changed to Murdock on September 5, 1908. 

The following men have been elected to the ministry 
in this congregation: Samuel Bowser (April 9, 1887), C. E. 
Delp (July, 1888), J. J. Bowser (May 14, 1891), S. E. Delp 
(October 15, 1899), and Walter Peckover (August 22, 1920). 
The following have been ordained : Dr. S. H. Sprogle, Samuel 
Bowser (October 1, 1892), J. J. Bowser (November 14, 
1903), and S. E. Delp (October 31, 1909). Deacons have 
been chosen as follows : Jeremiah Yiengst, Charles Dewey, 
S. E. Delp, Edward Moorehouse, and Henry Harris. In the 
oversight there have been brethren John Wise, S. H. 
Sprogle, Enoch Eby, Lemuel Hillery, I. G. Harris, and S. E. 
Delp. The last named has served since June, 1918. 

Murdock has never been a large congregation, the 
membership never having exceeded sixty-five. Since the 
organization of the church to November, 1918, sixty-three 
persons had been baptized into its fold. The present (1920) 
membership is thirty-three. The officials are Elder S. E. 
Delp and Deacons John Morris, Frank Gardner, Charles 
Dewey, Edward Moorehouse, and Henry Harris. Some of 
the charter members moved to other places some years ago. 
Many of the older members have passed away. These 
factors, along with the Kansas passion for emigration, have 
reduced the membership of Murdock to the minimum. The 
situation is made all the more difficult by the scattered con- 


dition of what few members there are on the church roll. 


The first members to locate in what later became 
Neosho church were John Van Horn and wife, originally 
from Ohio, but later from Iowa and Nebraska. Through 
their representations in the church papers, Sister Kate L. 
Clum, with her husband, A. C. Clum, were induced to come 
from Allen county, Ohio, and locate in Kansas. The Clums 
arrived in Neosho county on October 17, 1869. In the 
spring of 1870, came Deacon William Bennett and wife, 
Sarah, the parents of Sister Van Horn. Meanwhile, in 
1869, Joseph Garber, his wife Mahala, and their two married 
daughters, Sue Templeton and Sarah Makemson, had set- 
tled about four miles north of Parsons. In the fall of 1870 
came John N. Baker and wife, Mary, Sidney Hodgden and 
wife, Kate, Charles Hodgden and wife, Lena, David B. 
Clum and wife, May, and Adam Cochenour and wife. 

Sidney Hodgden had been elected to the ministry 
(1866) in southern Missouri, but his first sermon (and the 
first sermon ever preached in Neosho county by a Brethren 
minister) was preached in September, 1870, in a 
school house one mile east of the present Neosho 
church. In this school house the Brethren held their 
meetings until the erection of their own house of wor- 
ship. The organization of the church, out of the member- 
ship above named, occurred in May, 1871, about one-half 
mile west of the present church, at the home of Charles 
Hodgden. Isaac Hershey presided at the organization 
and became the first elder in charge. 

The members in the southern part of the congregation 
were organized in December, 1878, as a separate church, 
under the name of Labette. In about 1880, the line between 
these two churches was placed three miles south of Parsons 
and six miles south of the line between Neosho and Labette 

The Neosho church prospered. In 1874, there were 
thirty-six members. There was a strong tide of immigra- 
tion from Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. Ministerial help came 
in the person of Elder A. J. Hixson of Highland county, 
Ohio. Hixson was a warm friend of Ashland College and 
later became identified with the Progressive movement. 


His son, H. Frank Hixson, was the valedictorian of the first 
class to graduate from Ashland. 

By 1881, the membership had grown to one hundred 
and ten. Few parts of the state enjoyed such advantageous 
advertising in the church papers. On April 9, 1881, owing 
to the increasing size of the membership, a church council 
divided the territory of the congregation into three parts. 
The northern part was to retain the original name, the 
middle was to be called Parsons, and the southern was to 
become Fairview. Elder Hixson was placed in charge of 
Fairview, whose membership was twenty-eight. 

In 1881, the Progressive element began to show itself. 
As a result of the conference ruling on the dress question, 
in the same year, Robert Edgecomb was deposed from the 
eldership. For a time he associated himself with the Old 
Order Brethren. 

On September 9, 1883, Elder M. T. Baer dedicated the 
newly built church, which was located twelve miles north 
of Parsons, two and one-half miles northeast of Galesburg, 
and sixteen miles southeast of Chanute. There were then 
forty members at Neosho. The ministers were Sidney 
Hodgden and his son, M. 0. 

A complete ministerial record of the Neosho church 
is not obtainable. However, the following ministers have 
been elected: Dorsey Hodgden (1874), Joel W. Eikenberry 
(September, 1876), J. J. Solomon (August 11, 1877), M. 0. 
Hodgden (1880), A. I. Heestand (September 25, 1886), and 
Jacob H. Holloway (December 30, 1907). Ordinations have 
been as follows: Sidney Hodgden ( ? ), and M. O. Hodg- 
den (November 19, 1893). Henry Clay, an early minister, 
was disowned in 1873. Since 1907, elders in charge have 
been George R. Eller, W. C. Watkins, and W. H. Miller, 

Neosho is a good example of the havoc wrought on Kan- 
sas churches by habitual emigration. In 1905, the once 
prosperous church had dwindled down to twenty members. 
In 1908, there were thirteen. It was then a mission point. 
George R. Eller held a revival in the winter of 1907-1908, 
and secured two converts. On May 1, 1909, the Mission 
Board of Southeastern Kansas located F. Gochenour and 
wife at Neosho to take charge of the church. At the present 
time (1920) Q. D. Reed is the pastor. There are but six 
members reported on the roll. 



This church is located in Cherokee county in the ex- 
treme southeastern part of the state. Probably the first 
preaching done by the Brethren in the county was done by 
William Edgecomb and his father, Robert Edgecomb. They 
held services once a month, using at different times the 
Burger, Hopewell and Mitchell school houses. In 1878 the 
Fly Creek church was organized, the name being derived 
from a creek that runs through the southwestern part of 
the county near the Hopewell school house. This congre- 
gation later merged into that of the Cherokee church. 

In 1882, Elder Geo. W. Studebaker, late of Indiana, 
located at Columbus, Kansas, the county seat. In the fall 
of that year he removed to Fredonia, Wilson county. While 
at Columbus he organized the Cherokee congregation. 

In the fall of 1882 a number of members moved into 
the community. Among them was Samuel Edgecomb, a 
minister, who located in the northwestern part of the 
county. Once a month he preached for the Cherokee county 
Brethren. For several years he and Jacob Appleman did 
much of the preaching. 

In 1883 a number of members settled around Columbus 
and Neutral. A. B. Lichtenwalter and family came from 
Smithville, Wayne county, Ohio, and located near Neutral, 
becoming members of the Cherokee church. But these 
members were so far removed from church that it was 
necessary to establish an appointment in the neighborhood 
of Columbus and Neutral. Services were thenceforth held 
there once a month. Neutral school house became a new 
preaching point in 1886, and has been used ever since. 
May 5, 1888, the Cherokee church called Bro. Lichten- 
walter to the ministry. 

In 1889 the members around Columbus and Neutral 
secured the services of Eld. Andrew Hutchison for a week's 
meeting. While he was in the community a love feast and 
council meeting were held. This council was held Aug. 
31, 1889, at the Burger school house arid the New Hope 
congregation was organized. Samuel Edgecomb was chosen 
elder in charge. A. B. Lichtenwalter was the resident 
minister. The following were the charter members: Eliza 
Burger, Daniel Burger and wife, Lewis Burk and wife, Eli 
Bishop and wife, Ralph Boyer and wife, Shepherd Capron 


and wife, John Dale, Jacob Farneman and wife, Frank 
.Farneman, A. B. Lichtenwalter and wife, Sadie Lichten- 
walter, Michael Moyer and wife, Joseph Meyers, Catharine 
Martin, George Martin, Norman Nice and wife, Mary Stone, 
Anna Stuckey, Fred Stuckey, Eliza Thompson. 

In 1896 Elder Edgecomb was relieved of the oversight 
of the church and for some time thereafter it was held by 
Leonard Wolfe, George Barnhart and C. Holderman. On 
May 2, 1903, Bro. Lichtenwalter was ordained and succeeded 
to the oversight, which position he has since held, with the 
exception of about four years which he spent in Colorado 
and at McPherson. Other elders in charge have been S. 
Hodgden, S. Edgecomb, George Barnhart, A. Neher, E. M. 
Wolfe, C. Holdeman, and Leonard Wolfe. 

The membership at New Hope has always been small. 
Perhaps there were never more than thirty-three members. 
At the present (1919) there are ten members. There was 
never a church building. Of late years services have been 
held in the Methodist church at Neutral. 

Ralph Boyer, one of the charter members, was elected 
to the ministry while in Pennsylvania, but never served in 
that capacity in Kansas. Frank Farneman (September 7, 
1889) and Enos Mast (October 11, 1896) were called to 
the ministry by the New Hope church and served but little. 
All three of these have been relieved of membership in the 
church. Valuable ministerial help has been rendered in 
years past by such brethren as Andrew Neher, Leonard 
Wolfe, Henry Shideler, Eli M. Wolfe, W. H. Leaman, J. 
H. Neher, and John F. Neher. 


This congregation is related to the former Newton 
(rural) congregation and the church formerly known as 
Walton. The rural church is now known as Royer Com- 
munity church and the Walton church was disorganized in 

For a number of years the Brethren of the Newton 
church carried on* mission work in the city of Newton. The 
unhandiness of the rural church to the members in and near 
the city caused pressure to be brought to bear for services 
in the city. Levi Andes, Adam Graybill, and R. Royer, sr., 
were prominent in getting the mission started. A hall was 
rented on Main street in the business section in 1905 and 


services were begun, brethren H. M. Barwick, A. C. Root, 
and J. W. Miller doing the preaching. In 1910, a church 
building was purchased from the Episcopal church and in 
the fall of that year it was moved to a building site on the 
corner of Tenth and Oak streets. Dedication services were 
conducted on November 20, by Elder N. E. Baker, who was 
for a time located in charge of the mission by the District 
Mission Board. The opening of the work of the mission was 
made possible by the cooperation of the local country 
church and the District Mission Board. For some two or 
three years Leander Smith served as city pastor and mis- 

The disorganization of the Walton church in 1912 added 
more members to the Newton mission. A number moved 
into town from the country church. Sentiment for an 
organization in the city became so strong that a petition 
was presented to District Conference, assembled at McPher- 
son, in October, 1917, asking for the privilege of organizing. 
Their* request was granted and Elders J. J. Yoder, M. J. 
Mishler, and E. E. John were appointed to effect the organi- 
zation. The following were charter members: A. L. Snoe- 
berger and wife, Candace, John Dudte and wife, Anna, W. 
D. Romine and wife, Lena, Martin Reiff and wife, Hattie, 
J. M. Will and wife, Leah, D. G. Miller and wife, Lucy, Milton 
Royer and wife, Lottie, H. M. Showalter and wife, Elizabeth, 
Lizzie A. Lehman, Elizabeth Pierce, Fianna Leckington, 
Susannah Andes, Sophia Dudte, George Dudte, Delilah 
Miller, Murl Miller, Carl Miller, Gladys Miller, Katherine 
Will, Esther Snoeberger, Naomi R. Hupp, Lissa A. Yoder, 
Salinda Graybill, Rhoda May, Bertie May, and Maria Shom- 
ber. The organization took place on December 15, 1917. 
W. A. Kinzie was elected elder in charge and John Dudte 
was chosen clerk. The official name of the congregation is 
"The Newton City Church of the Brethren." 

The Newton congregation has shown a good growth. 
In 1921, the membership reported was sixty-seven. Since 
the organization twenty-three have been added by baptism 
and twenty-seven by letter. On April 1, 1918, M. J. Mishler 
began his service as pastor. He also succeeded Brother 
Kinzie in the eldership. Two-thirds of the pastoral sup- 
port is given by the congregation and one-third by the 
District Mission Board. The present force of deacons con- 


sists of Samuel Steiner, John Dudte, and M. Royer. Soon 
after the Hershey Conference of 1921, Elder Mishler gave 
up the work to accept a pastorate in the Figarden church, 
near Fresno, California. He was succeeded by J. D. 


Leah Morrow, wife of Joseph Morrow, a native of Penn- 
sylvania, was the first member of the Church of the Breth- 
ren in Osborne county. She came with her husband to 
Kansas in 1871. She died on October 9, 1879, aged slightly 
over forty years. Other members soon came to this part 
of the state. They were at first a part of the White Rock 
church in Jewell county, but on June 20, 1874, the Solomon 
Valley church was organized out of White Rock territory, 
Elders Allen Ives and James M. Bailey being present to 
effect the organization. David 0. Brumbaugh was the min- 
ister and Lewis Lerew was a deacon. The charter members 
were D. 0. Brumbaugh and wife, Lewis Lerew and wife, 
Alexander Keltner and wife, D. E. Shook and wife, 'Peter 
Wolf and wife, Henry Landis and wife, John Shook and 
wife, Jacob Getz and wife, and Joseph Morrow and wife. 
Thirteen of these had moved in and the rest had united with 
the Brethren in the community. 

The Brethren came to Osborne county to take home- 
steads. Few of them had much money. They bore the suf- 
ferings incident to pioneer life in an heroic way, crop fail- 
ures, grasshoppers, and Indian raids all failing to daunt 
these noble heralds of the Cross. 

In the summer or fall of 1876, a council was held at 
which William B. Himes and John Fuller were called to the 
ministry and Joseph Morrow and D. E. Shook to the office 
of deacon. Henry Landis was advanced to the second de- 
gree of the ministry. On May 25, 1879, the Solomon Valley 
church was divided into the North and South Solomon con- 
gregations. In 1883, South Solomon was disorganized. 

At the organization of North Solomon, as before stated, 
on May 25, 1879, David 0. Brumbaugh was the minister and 
Lewis Lerew was that day elected to the ministry. I. S. 
Lerew and J. C. Wagner were elected deacons. There were 
about forty charter members. 

Trying times soon came on the church. In 1881, Elder 
Hershey established an organization of the Old Orders, but 


some of the seceders came back. The Progressive move- 
ment took D. 0. Brumbaugh and some fourteen members 
living in Osborne and Smith counties. In 1883, a Progres- 
sive Brethren church was organized in Portis, with D. 0. 
Brumbaugh as minister. In 1884, it was said that but eight 
members remained with the Conservatives, but apparently 
in 1885, there were twenty loyal members with Allen Ives 
in charge as elder and Peter Burgard and Joseph Morrow as 

The next few years saw a growth in the North Solomon 
church. Several mission points were opened up. Crystal 
Plains, in Smith county, ten miles north of Portis, is still 
a mission point of the church. Meetings were held in many 
school houses both far and near. Thus, there were services 
at Elm Creek (ten miles east), at Blue Hill (forty miles 
southeast), one east of Osborne City, one north of Downs, 
and one at Covert (thirty-five miles southwest). Other 
appointments vvere maintained at Kensington (forty miles 
northwest), at Cedar (twenty miles west), and at Twin 
Creek (twenty-five miles southwest). In 1895, there were 
six preaching places under the care of the congregation. 
Thus, the pioneer Brethren of the North Solomon church 
were busy about the Master's business. The early ministers 
were Peter Burgard, Joseph Morrow, Isaac Myers, I. S. 
Lerew, and J. C. Wagner. Lewis Lerew was the first resi- 
dent elder. 

The following have been called to the ministry by the 
congregation: Joseph Morrow (October 8, 1881), Isaac 
Myers (December 10, 1887), I. S. Lerew (December 10, 
1887), J. C. Wagner (October 9, 1897), J. E. Small (1906), 
Lewis Naylor (May 7, 1916), and George Merkey (Decem- 
ber 11, 1919). Bro. Naylor is an alumnus of McPherson 
College, having taken his A. B. in 1921. The following 
ordinations have taken place: Lewis Lerew (October 14, 
1894), I. S. Lerew (October 31, 1898), J. C. Wagner (No- 
vember 11, 1911), and J. C. Small (November 11, 1911). 
The present ministerial force consist of Elders I. S. Lerew 
(presiding), J. R. Garber, J. C. Wagner, and J. E. Small, 
and Bro. George H. Friend. The deacons are George Breon, 
C. H. Garber, Arthur Dague, Abraham Merkey, G. L. Ack- 
ley, and Clifford Beckwith. 

The membership has been of a slow but steady growth. 


In 1895, there were forty members and in 1902, there were 
eighty-seven. Then there was a slump to fifty-two in 1903. 
At present (1919) there are ninety-three members, seven- 
teen of them isolated. About thirty-five live in Portis and 
the rest in the country thereabout. 

The Brethren erected their church house in the town 
of Portis, in 1898, and it was dedicated on May 1, of that 
year, Elder C. Fitz preaching the dedicatory sermon. 


The Olathe church started with a company of Brethren 
who came from the vicinity of Virden, Illinois. It was on 
March 7, 1880, that I. H. Crist and seven other members 
moved into the neighborhood of Olathe, settling northeast 
of town. On March 16, 1880, they attended a council meet- 
ing of the Wade Branch church in Miami county, where they 
placed their letters of membership. Brother Crist, a min- 
ister, established preaching services at the Bowen school 
house, one and one-half miles northeast of Olathe and later 
opened up services in town, keeping up, however, the coun- 
try appointment. Services were also held monthly in Wyan- 
dotte county, about eight miles south of Kansas City, Kan- 
sas. There were twenty-seven members in Johnson and 
Wyandotte counties and in Kansas City, Missouri. 

There is conflicting opinion as to the exact date of the 
organization of the Olathe church. Elder I. H. Crist gives 
August 3, 1882 as the correct date, but on the other hand 
a notice in the Brethren at Work, of 1881, page 592, 
dated September 17, would lead one to conclude 
that the organization must have been in August or 
September, 1881. At any rate, Isaac Studebaker 
was ordained on the day of organization. Elders 
Jesse Studebaker, James Hilkey, and George Myers 
were present. The territory included all of Johnson 
county. The charter members were Benjamin Brubaker 
and wife, J. P. Vaniman and wife, I. H. Crist and wife, Isaac 
Studebaker and wife, I. S. Brubaker and wife, John E. Crist 
and wife, H. F. Crist, and D. A. Crist. The ministers were 
Isaac Studebaker, Benjamin Brubaker, and I. H. Crist. 
Later William Holsinger was added to the ministerial list. 
Isaac Studebaker was a brother of Elder Jesse Studebaker. 
He subsequently allied himself with the Old Order Brethren. 
By 1882, there were sixty members at Olathe. 


In the early days services were held in the Vigor school 
house, three miles northeast of Olathe. In about February, 
1890, a church was built in the western part of Johnson 
county, and in February, 1896, when the Olathe territory 
was divided this house fell in the territory of the East Maple 
Grove church. The present Olathe church was erected in 
1893, at the corner of Pine and Elm streets. 

The organization of churches in western Kansas and 
the exodus to the Far West in the eighties drained heavily 
on the Olathe congregation. At one time sixteen were 
granted letters. These members all went to Quinter, Kan- 
sas. The Kansas Center church, at Lyons, in Rice county, 
was originally made up of former Olathe members. Several 
went to California. Those received by letter came largely 
from Illinois and Virginia. Owing to the efforts of five 
Miami elders, a total of sixteen seceded with the Old Order 
Brethren. This secession started in August, 1882. 

Two congregations have been formed out of the Olathe 
church : namely, East Maple Grove in 1896, and Kansas City, 
Kansas, on November 20, 1897. East Maple Grove, how- 
ever, was reunited with Olathe on November 1, 1915, re- 
maining a part of it until May 1, 1919, when it was reorgan- 
ized under its former name. 

The following have been called to the ministry by the 
Olathe congregation: Isaac S. Brubaker (September 12, 
1885), P. H. Hertzog (April 14, 1888), Henry F. Crist (Oc- 
tober 27, 1888), John E. Crist (July 14, 1894), and C. W. 
Wampler (September 25, 1897). The following have been 
ordained by the church: Isaac Studebaker (September 17, 
1881?), Isaac H. Crist (November 24, 1888), George E. 
Wise (May 2, 1891), William Holsinger (August 15, 
1891) , and Henry F. Crist (March, 1898) . The oversight 
of the church has been held by the following: Isaac 
Studebaker (two years), S. S. Mohler (two years), I. H. 
Crist (twenty-one years), H. F. Crist (eight years). Henry 
T. Brubaker, the present elder, was chosen on February 
14, 1914. The present official body consists of Elder Bru- 
baker and deacons S. R. Riffey, J. F. Riffey, J. Hollinger, 
and L. S. Musselman. 

There was a time when sixteen seemed to be the fateful 
number at Olathe. There was a membership of sixty-four 
when the Old Order defection occurred. Sixteen went with 


the Old Orders. A meeting held by J. H. Neher and I. H. 
Crist resulted in sixteen accessions. Then sixteen were let- 
tered out. Again sixteen were added to the membership. 
So the number was kept at sixty-four for some time. The 
largest membership ever attained was in 1894, when there 
were one hundred and five on the church roll. For a time 
it was nearly one hundred. In 1917, it was fifty. In 1919, 
it was thirty-six. 


Samuel and Wilson Edgecomb, brothers, formerly of 
the Okaw congregation, in Piatt county, Illinois, and their 
wives, were the first members of the Church of the Breth- 
ren to locate in what is now the Osage church. They came 
to Kansas in October, 1875. The next year they were fol- 
lowed by their father, Robert Edgecomb, who, with his 
wife, came from the same church in Illinois. In the spring 
of 1878, there came the families of J. B. Wolfe, D. D. Shively, 
J. C. Neher, and Samuel and John Ulrey, all from Piatt 
county. These members all located in the territory of the 
Neosho congregation. They had expected to take claims 
but were induced to buy land from the railroad company. 

Early services were held in the Osage school house, six 
miles northeast of the present town of McCune. The Osage 
congregation was organized in June, 1878, and Sidney Hodg- 
den was chosen elder in charge. At the first love feast, held 
on August 15, 1878, Samuel Edgecomb was chosen to the 
ministry. In June, 1879, John H. Neher was elected to the 
ministry and it was voted to ordain Robert Edgecomb and 
Martin Neher. They were subsequently ordained at the 
District Conference in the Cana (now Grenola) church. 

In 1881, a charter was obtained for the Osage church. 
In 1885, the church building was erected three and one- 
half miles northwest of Monmouth, on land donated for that 
purpose by Elder Martin Neher. This building is still 
used for services. It was dedicated by J. B. Lair, who also 
conducted the first revival, at which time about twelve 
united with the church. 

In addition to the elections and ordinations already 
mentioned, the following have occurred : Isaiah Gwin (date 
of election unknown), Ananias Neher (elected November 1, 
1889) , Eli M. Wolfe (elected December 8, 1890 ; ordained 
June 11, 1898), A. L. Boyd (ordained June 11, 1898), J. H. 


Neher (ordained November 1, 1889), Salem Beery (elected 
October 20, 1895; ordained September 15, 1900), Henry 
Shideler (ordained December 13, 1902), N. E. Baker (or- 
dained January, 1907), Charles A. Miller (ordained Decem- 
ber 14, 1907), D. P. Neher (elected on November 9, 1913, 
advanced on July 8, 1916, ordained on December 9, 1916) ; 
Roy H. Neher (elected on June 8, 1918). Roy H. Neher is 
a son of D. P. Neher. He is an alumnus of McPherson Col- 
lege. On September 6, 1919, L. G. Templeton was ordained 
to the eldership and D. W. Shideler installed into the min- 
isterial office. 

Elders in charge of the congregation have been: S. 
Hodgden, Robert Edgecomb, Martin Neher, John H. Neher 
(to 1894), Andrew Neher (1894-1898), E. M. Wolfe (1898- 
1907), Henry Shideler (1907), W. H. Leaman (1907-1913), 
Henry Shideler (1913-1914), J. S. Sherfy (1914-1915), J. S. 
Clark (1915-1916), D. P. Neher (1916- ). 

The following elders have died within the bounds of 
the Osage church: Robert Edgecomb, 1899 (age 82), Mar- 
tin Neher, 1899 (age 87), W. H. Leaman, 1913 (age 50), 
Andrew Neher, 1918 (age 79). For a number of years 
Osage was the church home of Elder M. T. Baer, at one time 
rather a prominent figure among the Brethren in Kansas. 

D. C. Campbell lived here from 1884 to 1888 and was in- 
strumental in forming a colony of Brethren to settle in 
Butte Valley, California. Among the colonists was Elder 

E. M. Wolfe, who died soon after reaching California. Elder 
Campbell now lives at Colfax, Ind. 

The Osage church has lost heavily by emigration. 
North Dakota, California, and Oklahoma have taken many 
of the members. The membership in 1919 was seventy. 


There have been Brethren near Ottawa, in Franklin 
county, as far back as the sixties. The first to come was 
probably Jacob Fouts, who in the fall of 1866 came from 
Canton, Fulton county, Illinois. The next spring John Eshel- 
man came from the same place. A year later still another 
old neighbor came from Canton — Jacob Negley, a minister, 
who, although aged, did considerable preaching in the earlier 
days. He, however, eventually returned to his former 
home in Illinois. Brother Eshelman was elected to the min- 
istry but never exercised in that office. These Brethren all 


lived in the neighborhood of the Fouts school house, three 
and one-half miles southeast of Ottawa. 

After the departure of Brother Negley, brethren 
Daniel Barnhart and Jacob Keim conducted services once 
a month. Their homes were over near Centropolis, in 
what is now the Appanoose congregation. Brother Barn- 
hart is still (1920) living near Overbrook. But the Unit- 
ed Brethren held sway in the community and were in a 
fair way to win the young people until a series of meet- 
ings was held in 1879 by Elder George Myers of the Wade 
Branch church. There were several conversions, one of 
them being Sister Mary Read (now Shomber), who is 
now (1920) the sole surviving member of the little group 
to whom Elder Myers used to preach. 

Soon after the taking charge of the work by Elder 
Myers, the meetings began to be held in the Elm Grove 
school house, two miles northeast of the Fouts school 
house- There were good crowds but the Brethren 
at the Fouts school house prevailed upon those in 
charge to resume services at their place of worship. 
The United Brethren subsequently lost in both mem- 
bership and influence. The Ottawa members re- 
quested that they might hold membership at Wade 
Branch. This request was granted, and thus George Myers 
became their elder in charge, holding monthly meetings for 
them. With no resident minister, however, it was difficult 
to keep up the interest. 

The Annual Conference of 1887, was a boon to the mem- 
bers at Ottawa. A revival held by Elder I. H. Crist served 
to awaken interest and to emphasize the need of a perma- 
nent organization. There were several baptisms. Thus, it 
came about that on August 26, 1892, at the Fouts school 
house, the Ottawa church was organized as a separate 
organization. Elders George Myers of Wade Branch, I. H. 
Crist of Gardner, D. B. Barnhart of Appanoose, and Jesse 
Studebaker of Mont Ida, were present to assist in the work 
of organization. The charter members were Joseph Morrow 
and wife, Fanny, Jacob Brunk and wife, Frances, John 
Eshelman and wife, Margaret, Isaac Shoemaker and wife, 
Sarah, Herbert Davidson and wife, Alice, Jerry Overstreet 
and wife, Jane, John H. Ayres and wife, Belle, Jacob Eshel- 
man and wife, Mary, Peter Cuyler and wife, Susannah, Mary 


Brunk, Sarah Brunk, Johnnie Brunk, Charlie Eshelman, 
May Eshelman, Anna Bearman, Rose Ann Read, Mary Read, 
Martha Read, Sally Ulery, and Julia Frame. Brother Mor- 
row was a minister and Jacob Brunk a deacon. Isaac Shoe- 
maker was elected treasurer and Sisters Mary Read and 
Fanny Morrow corresponding clerks. I. H. Crist was chosen 
elder in charge. 

For the next five years there was a period of growth 
and prosperity. There were about forty baptisms and about 
fifty members received by letter. Dissensions, however, 
crept in, resulting in the loss of members. At one council 
held in February, 1898, fourteen letters were granted to 
emigrants. At one time the membership dwindled to about 
sixty, but the appointments were not neglected. In the 
spring of 1902, some thirty members moved in from Dallas 
Center, Iowa, among them Elders R. F. McCune and George 
A. Shamberger. Then the church took on new life. By 
1906, the membership had risen to one hundred four. In 
1915, there were one hundred and twenty-four members. 

The first church house of the Brethren in the city of 
Ottawa was located on Eighth and Oak streets. It was pur- 
chased by the Brethren and dedicated by Elder I. H. Crist 
on December 21, 1893. This building proving inadequate, 
lots were bought on Main and Ninth and a commodious 
edifice was here erected. Continued expansion rendered 
more room necessary and in 1913 the church was remodeled 
by the addition of three Sunday School rooms. The church 
was rededicated on November 27, 1913, by Professor E. M. 
Studebaker of McPherson College. Ottawa had a member- 
ship of about one hundred in 1919. Its Sunday School and 
Christian Workers' meeting are standard. Aggressive work 
has been hindered somewhat, however, because of the fact 
that no one minister has been able to devote himself ex- 
clusively to the work. 

Evangelists who in years gone by have rendered service 
for the congregation are I. H. Crist, Joseph Glick, A. C. 
Wieand, James Z. Gilbert, Dr. S. B. Miller, E. M. Studebaker, 
R. A. Yoder, W. E. West, Edgar Rothrock, O. H. Austin, 
and S. E. Thompson. 

The following have been elected to the ministry : Jesse 
Blickenstaff (October 7, 1897), W. B. Devilbiss (October 3, 
1903), Frank E. McCune (October 14, 1906), and John E. 


Throne (October 21, 1911). The following have been or- 
dained here: L. H. Flack (November 5, 1899), W. B. Devil- 
biss (October 26, 1919), and J. S. Carney (October 26, 1919). 
Names and terms of the elders in charge of the church are : 
I. H. Crist (August 26, 1892-November 25, 1899), L. H. 
Flack (November 25, 1899-Marchl5,1902),R.F.McCune 
(March 15, 1902-December 22, 1910), P. E. Whitmer (De- 
cember 22, 1910-December 20, 1912), G. M. Throne (Decem- 
ber 20, 1912-December 17, 1915), R. F. McCune (December 
17, 1915-December 15, 1916), McCune and Throne (Decem- 
ber 15, 1916-December 21, 1917), G. M. Throne (December 
21, 1917-December 27, 1918), R. F. McCune (December 27, 
1918-September 12, 1919) and G. M. Throne (September 12, 
1919- ). 


The town of Overbrook is located on the Missouri 
Pacific Railroad about twenty-six miles south of Topeka, in 
Elk township, Osage county. There had been members of 
the Church of the Brethren in the neighborhood for some 
time prior to the organization. Adam Hilkey and wife were 
the first to settle within what is now the Overbrook church. 
In the spring of 1883, they located one and one-half miles 
south of the present town of Overbrook. The same year, 
his father, James E. Hilkey, with his wife, came to the 
locality. A few years later Ezra and George Fishburn and 
their wives were baptized in a revival in the Appanoose 
church. All of these members were a part of the Washing- 
ton Creek congregation in Douglas county, although the 
Appanoose church is nearer. 

Services were held for some time in the Excelsior school 
house, one and one-half miles south of Overbrook, and in the 
summer of 1903 a Sunday School was organized and preach- 
ing services were established twice a month in the Kempsie 
school house, southeast of town. J. E. Hilkey usually did 
the preaching. 

Consent having been obtained from the Washington 
Creek church, the Overbrook members met to organize on 
December 21, 1907, Elders I. L. Hoover and C. W. Shoe- 
maker being in charge of the work. There were twenty-one 
charter members. The elders were James E. Hilkey, William 
Weybright, and Geo. A. Fishburn. Byron Talhelm was a 
minister, and Jacob Brunk, Ezra Fishburn, and B. O. 


Hoover, deacons. The laity consisted of Adam Hilkey, Henry 
Arnold, J. E. Brunk, Walter Hilkey, Daisy Kinsley, Martha 
Fishburn, Emma Fishburn, M. E. Hilkey, Frances Brunk, 
Myrtle Hoover, Nevada Talhelm, Mary Weybright, Lucy M. 
Brunk, and Nancy Talhelm. 

The church building, erected in 1907, was dedicated by 
President Edward Frantz of McPherson College on May 7, 
1907. It is situated in the southeast part of town. The 
existence of a house of worship in Overbrook drew as resi- 
dents several older members who were ready to retire. E. F. 
Sherfy spent the summer of 1911 doing pastoral work for 
the church. In 1912, Elder I. L. Hoover of the Washington 
Creek congregation, moved to Overbrook, immediately tak- 
ing a prominent part in the activities of the church. Having 
charge of several congregations, and being President of the 
Mutual Aid Association, his time was well taken up. In 
the spring of 1918, however, he returned to the farm near 
Lone Star. 

In 1917, Elder S. J. Heckman of the Appanoose congre- 
gation moved to Overbrook, and in January, 1918, he took 
pastoral charge of the church. This position he still holds 
(1920). Elders in charge have been William Weybright 
(1907-1912), I. L. Hoover (1912-1918), G. A. Fishburn 
(1918- ). 

In 1915, there were forty members. In 1918, there 
were forty-eight. There have been losses by emigration, 
chiefly to Texas. Revivals have added substantially to the 
membership. Revivalists have been C. S. Garber, E. F. 
Sherfy, O. H. Austin, A. Hutchison, George Manon, J. E. 
Smith, S. E. Thompson, W. A. Kinzie, F. E. McCune, C. A. 

Dr. C. O. Hoover, one of the deacons, is one of the most 
successful and widely known physicians in the county. He 
is a son of Elder I. L. Hoover. Overbrook is the head- 
quarters of the Mutual Aid Association of the Church of 
the Brethren. Mrs. Myrtle H. Hoover, the Secretary of the 
Association, is one of the aggressive members of the local 


In point of time the Ozawkie church is the fourth old- 
est in the state of Kansas. It was first known as the Grass- 
hopper Falls church. Jacob Brown, originally a Pennsyl- 


vanian but later of Iowa, was the first member of the Church 
of the Brethren in Jefferson county. Just when he came to 
Kansas is not known. In the summer of 1860, after living 
for five months in Brown county, Henry Royer and wife, 
formerly of Wabash county, Indiana, settled near Ozawkie. 
In the fall of 1862, Elder William Gish, compelled to flee 
from Missouri because of the fury. of the Civil War, also 
made Ozawkie his home. Other Missourians, among them 
Christian Nininger and wife, were also compelled to leave 
Missouri at the same time. 

Before the war, apparently, services had been held in 
the neighborhood by visiting ministers, among them Abra- 
ham Rothrock and John Bowers of Douglas county, who 
had stopped on their way up to Brown county. It seems 
indeed that monthly meetings were held. The organization 
of the church took place in 1862. Services were at first held 
at Rock Creek, west of town, but subsequently the member- 
ship at Ozawkie became more numerous than that at Rock 
Creek. The Gish school house, west of town was used 
for services for some time. The names of the early mem- 
bers, as far as can be learned, were William Gish and wife, 
Christian Nininger and wife, Jacob Brown and wife, John 
Royer and wife, Henry Royer and wife, Isaac Keim and 
wife, Jacob Crowl and wife, Abraham Firestone and wife, 
R. H. Brammell and wife, Daniel Marker and wife, A. L. 
Pearsall and wife. In 1863, the church received a welcome 
addition when two families came from Tippecanoe county, 
Indiana. These were the families of Andrew and David 
Root, twenty persons in all. They were attracted to Kan- 
sas by favorable reports coming from John Royer and from 
John K. and Joseph Root, nephews of Andrew and David 
Root. John A- Root, son of Andrew, now (1920) living at 
Ozawkie, then a youth of twenty-one, was one of the party 
of emigrants. They came to St. Joseph by rail and there 
ferried the Missouri river. While crossing Doniphan county, 
west of St. Joseph, the party was headed off by a company 
of some seven or eight "home guards," who began to ques- 
tion them regarding their political preference and intentions 
in coming to the new state. Satisfied as to the peaceable 
intentions of the emigrating Brethren, they then sought to 
sell them land. Proceeding toward the southwest, however, 
the Roots came to the government land office town of 


Ozawkie, where David Root bought one hundred and sixty 
acres of land for four hundred and seventy-five dollars. This 
land was located two miles west of town. 

The Brethren at Ozawkie experienced but little perse- 
cution during the war. However, the presence of seven 
grown-up men in the Root party created a little suspicion in 
the neighborhood. On the night of July 3, 1863, the leader 
of the Union League, apparently a local patriotic organiza- 
tion, came to the home of David Root and demanded that 
the men be present at the celebration on the next day. De- 
siring to avoid all trouble, they went. The celebration was 
military in character, and after the Brethren had fallen 
in line and done a little marching with the crowd, they 
satisfied all doubters as to their loyalty to the Union. They 
therefore experienced no molestation. 

After the Roots came into the congregation services 
began to be held alternately at Rock Creek and at Ozawkie. 
This continued until about the time of the death of Elder 
William Gish. The young people at Ozawkie used to walk 
the seven miles to church at Rock Creek. In about 1866, 
a community church was started in the town of Ozawkie. 
This was located on the site of the present Brethren church. 
But the necessary funds were not forthcoming for some 
reason and it was decided to sell the building. It was auc- 
tioned off to John Replogle, who bought it in behalf of the 
Brethren for the sum of seventy-five dollars. There was no 
other bid. As soon as the Brethren came into possession 
of the church house they notified all who had subscribed to 
its erection as a union house that any who so desired could 
have their money back. Only one man called for his money. 
The purchase of the house in Ozawkie led to the abandon- 
ment of the services at Rock Creek, and gave the Brethren 
the lead in religious work in the town ; in fact, as one of the 
leaders later said, their opportunity was larger than they 

In 1864, there was an influx of settlers. Most of them 
were from the Somerset church, of Wabash county, Indiana. 
Among them were James McFarland and wife, Jesse Puder- 
baugh and wife, George Werst and wife, Aaron Puderbaugh 
and wife, Decatur Werst and wife, and Reuben Michael and 
wife. All of the foregoing were related to Sister Winnie 
Cue Root. Ministerial help came in 1866, in the persons of 


Christian Holler and David Priddy, both elders, and Jacob 
Priddy, a son of David, and a minister. 

Ozawkie church perhaps had the first prayer meeting 
among the Brethren in the state of Kansas. In 1877, John 
A. Root became impressed with the necessity of some such 
avenue of exercise for the membership of the church. 
Knowing that there would be hostility to such a move he 
took it upon himself to interview each family of the congre- 
gation as to their pleasure. There was but one objection 
raised. The "social meeting" gained in favor and became 
the predecessor of the Wednesday night prayer meeting. 

William Gish was the first elder of the church. He was 
a farmer and stock man. He was a native of Virginia. His 
conservatism would make no allowance for prayer meetings 
or Sunday Schools. For some years before his death (which 
occurred on January 8, 1888), he was inactive in the elder- 
ship. John A. Root succeeded him in the oversight, serving 
in that capacity about thirty years. Thrice he asked to be 
relieved. When his request was finally granted he was suc- 
ceeded by Henry F. Crist, who served but a short time. 
Then I. L. Hoover served for a time. He was succeeded by 
Charles M. Yearout. For the last several years H. L. Bram- 
mell has been elder in charge. 

Especially in the earlier days the Ozawkie church 
reached out and did extensive missionary work. About 
thirty years ago Brother Root had an appointment five miles 
southwest of St. Marys. A few were baptized in this neigh- 
borhood and one or two love feasts were held in the barn 
of Brother Marchand. Since there were but three families 
of members there was never an organization perfected. 
About the same time an appointment was secured at the 
Weddle school house, near Dunlap, but it was later found to 
lie within the province of the Cottonwood church. A third 
preaching place was at the Easton school house, near 
Leavenworth. Once a month some of the Brethren went 
to preach. Usually Brother Root did the preaching, 
although Brother Pearsall was his steady helper, usually 
furnishing the buggy for the trip and sometimes doing the 
speaking. Brother Root had a cousin living at Harleyville 
and through him received a call to conduct services in that 
locality. This was done in conjunction with Isaac H. Crist. 
Six baptisms resulted. The members were much scattered 


and were counted as belonging to the Washington Creek 

McLouth, a part of the Ozawkie church, was settled 
by Brethren from Ohio, in 1864, the Kimmell family being 
especially prominent. Until 1917, the members were in- 
cluded with those at Ozawkie. The church building was 
built jointly with the Progressives, with whom there was 
the best of harmony. Some years ago a church was erected 
in Meriden for the benefit of the members, twelve in num- 
ber, living in that town, who were, however, members of the 
Ozawkie church. The Moser family were the prime movers 
and supporters of this work. This church, built partly by 
outside help and at a cost of $1,200, was dedicated by S. Z. 
Sharp, on August 11, 1895. Only about four members now 
remain in Meriden. On September 9, 1916, the sale of this 
building was effected and the proceeds of $500 turned over 
to world wide missions. The United Brethren at Meriden 
bought the church and united it with the church building 
which they already owned in that village. 

The membership of Ozawkie has fluctuated consider- 
ably. In 1884, it was one hundred and thirty. In 1892, it 
was one hundred and ninety — the highest mark it has ever 
reached. The lowest figure was sixty. This was in 1907 
and 1908. Emigration has been chiefly to California, Wash- 
ington, North Dakota, and Colorado. 

The congregation has had its share of troubles of a local 
character. It was not until March 12, 1898, that the church 
record made a statement that all existing difficulties had 
been buried. 

The following men have been called to the ministry 
here: Andrew Root (September 15, 1863), J. A. Root (Sep- 
tember 15, 1863), Isaac Keim (September 15, 1863), A. L. 
Pearsall (1866 or 1867), David Kimmell (October, 1867), 
Aaron Puderbaugh (1878), Harvey L. Brammell (November 
3, 1894), Walter Brunton (November 3, 1894), Guy H. 
Brammell (November 2, 1916), Ernest A. Marker (Novem- 
ber 2, 1916), Robert Kennedy (November 2, 1916), and 
Otto Keintz (June 19, 1920). The following have been 
ordained: John A. Root (1876), A. L. Pearsall (1876), 
Aaron Puderbaugh (November 9, 1901), and H. L. Bram- 
mell (November 12 or 13, 1904). 

Isaac Keim, mentioned above as one of the early min- 


isters, moved further west in Kansas and met his death by- 
being scalped by the Indians. 


This is the fifth oldest congregation of the Brethren in 
Kansas. It is located in Marion township, fifteen miles 
southwest of Fort Scott in Bourbon county. It was in the 
fall of 1864 that John B. Bolinger and wife, Sophia, came 
from Georgetown, Carroll county, 111., to Bourbon county. 
They erected a log cabin and this humble dwelling sheltered 
the mother and six children for the first year, while Bro. 
Bolinger was away from home so much of the time. It was 
located on Paint Creek. There were no near neighbors, but 
wolves and wild game were everywhere in evidence. The 
Bolingers became the backbone of the church which was 
organized in the fall of 1868. The organization took place 
at the home of A. C. Numer. The early love feasts were 
held in a large tent at either the home of Bro. Bolinger or 
Bro. Numer. The charter members were : J. B. Bolinger 
and wife, Sophia, Adam Bolinger and wife, Margaret, David 
Bolinger and wife, Rachel, David Ruthrauff and wife, Mar- 
garet, Isaac Schenfelt and wife, and Adam C. Numer and 
wife, Susan. 

Immigration in the seventies was largely to southeast- 
ern Kansas and so Paint Creek received its due share of 
settlers. By 1876 there were four ministers and forty mem- 
bers. The ministers were Adam C. Numer, W. W. Reynolds, 
William Stockmyer and John J. Hoover. The last named 
was elder in charge. In 1876, however, he removed about 
100 miles east into Missouri. John Emmert, a deacon, of 
Fort Scott, an early settler, made special efforts to conduct 
prospective buyers around and was successful in locating 
many Brethren. In the early eighties there was an eastern 
arm of the church called Dry Wood. 

For some years the congregation prospered. Additions 
were not altogether from immigration. In 1881, there were 
at least twenty-nine baptisms. Only two members went 
with the Progressives in the defection of that year. 

Among those who have held the oversight of the church 
are: John J. Hoover, Moses T. Baer, Samuel Edgecomb, 
Samuel Click, John H. Neher, Sidney Hodgden, A. L. Boyd, 
John Sherfy, S. E. Lantz, S. P. Crumpacker, Chas. A. Miller, 
Edward Ruff, J. F. Campbell, J. S. Sherfy, T. A. Robinson, 


and John A. Strohm. Brother Strohm, the present elder, is 
perhaps the fourth resident overseer. 

It is difficult to give an exact list of the ministers elected 
by this congregation, but the following is approximately 
correct: A. C. Numer (1871?), M. D. Watson, William 
Stockmyer (1875), W. W. Reynolds (1875?), Frank H. 
Crumpacker (April 27, 1898), and Herbert Ruthrauff (Nov. 
9, 1919). In October, 1906, S. P. Crumpacker was ordained 
to the eldership in this church. The present force of deacons 
consists of M. L. Richard, David Crumpacker, John Duggins, 
A. J. Davis, and A. C. Buck. There are about fifty members 
in the congregation. 

The calling of Frank H. Crumpacker to the ministry 
was fraught with happy consequences. Securing his educa- 
tion at McPherson College, he became interested in foreign 
missions, and in 1908, was the first of the Brethren to enter 
the field of China. 


The Brethren were in Labette county in the early days. 
Few of the counties of Kansas received more notice in the 
seventies and eighties in the Brethren publications than did 
the southeastern counties. In May, 1871, with about twenty 
members, living in Neosho and Labette counties, the Neosho 
church was organized near Galesburg by Elder Isaac Her- 
shey, who became the first elder in charge. The list of the 
charter members will be found in the sketch of the Neosho 
church, to which the reader is referred. Some of the mem- 
bers lived near Parsons. 

On September 29, 1879, M. M. Eshelman, editor of the 
Brethren at Work, devoted two and a half columns of his 
paper to a glowing description of his trip to Labette county. 
It is a veritable mass of facts. He commented on the growth 
of Parsons and especially on the healthful climate. He re- 
ported that the people were all enjoying "rosy cheeks, fair 
countenances, and hardy constitutions/' 

On April 9, 1881, as stated elsewhere, the Neosho 
church was divided and the central part became Parsons. 
The Progressive element early showed itself in the new 
church. It was in evidence on August 6, 1881, at a council 
meeting held at the Sunnyside school house. J. B. Lair 
wrote: "In this church the contest between the two ex- 
tremes was the greatest. The result is that some have 


gone off with one faction and some with another. Some few 
are standing off and looking on, while a respectable body 
united with the general church." It appears, from present- 
day testimony, that the more influential members went 
with either the Progressive or Old Order Brethren. About 
three well-known families remained Conservative. M. T. 
Baer was elder in charge at the time. 

Among the ministers who have been elected at Parsons 
are M. 0. Hodgden, C. H. Newton (December 31, 1898), M. 
Roy Murray (1904), J. S. Clark (August 31, 1901), and 
John A. Campbell (September 6, 1913). Three elders have 
been ordained; namely, M. O. Hodgden, J. S. Clark, and 
John A. Campbell. Elders who have had charge of the con- 
gregation are S. Hodgden, M. T. Baer, M. 0. Hodgden, E. M. 
Wolfe, W. H. Miller, E. D. Root, N. E. Baker, J. S. Clark, 
and D. P. Neher. In later years evangelistic help has been 
afforded by Chas. M. Yearout, H. B. Mohler, H. M. Bru- 
baker, E. F. Sherfy, W. B. Sell, B. E. Kesler, James Hardy, 
C. S. Garber, and 0. H. Austin. 

In 1899, the church building was erected. It is located 
on the corner of Twenty-sixth and Washington avenues. 
The report of 1919, shows a membership at Parsons of one 


It seems that as early as 1866 there were some seven 
members of the Church of the Brethren living in Marion 
county. Two of these were John P. Nance and wife, who 
were perhaps forty or fifty miles from the nearest church, 
the Cottonwood congregation in Lyon county. 

In 1875, however, we hear of members living at Pea- 
body. In fact, in the spring of 1872, Joseph M. Elliott, a 
young minister, had moved in from Lyon county. In the 
spring of 1875, Israel Beekly, of Waterloo, Iowa, upon mov- 
ing near Peabody, found several members, among them 
Henry Shomber and wife, and a Sister Crist. In the fall 
of the same year, Levi Thomas, wife, and daughter, of Ben- 
ton county, Iowa, added three more to the membership. 
Other scattered members in the county (Marion) were 
Mary Elliott, Mary E. Elliott, Ella A. Elliott, Letha Ann 
DeWitt, Abijah Holloway, Hannah Stanley, Susan Taylor, 
Malissa Taylor, and Katie Brumbaugh. Preaching was 
irregularly done by Brother Elliott, John Forney, and S. C. 


Stump. In the spring of 1876, Brother Elliott began filling 
an appointment south of McPherson, where he went once 
a month. This was probably the beginning of mission 
work in Southwest Kansas. In the fall of 1878, George W. 
Thomas, a minister in the second degree, with his wife, 
moved in from Benton county, Iowa. The first love feast 
at Peabody was held in Brother Thomas's new shed soon 
after his arrival in Kansas, although the first love feast 
in the county had been held at the home of Abijah Holloway 
on October 25 and 26, 1873. 

Thus far there had been no organized congregation at 
Peabody. A social meeting, however, had been organized 
to meet from house to house each Sunday morning. Levi 
Thomas, a deacon, was the leader, since the closest minister 
lived twenty-five miles away. In January, 1877, a revival 
held by S. C. Stump gained two converts — Brother Eyer 
and wife — the first converts at Peabody. 

In 1878, soon after the love feast held at the Thomas 
home, the Peabody church was organized at the home of 
Levi Thomas, Elder S. C. Stump officiating. In addition to 
the members already named, the following were considered 
charter members: Lizzie Greene, Phoebe Fagg, and pos- 
sibly a few others. Jacob Buck of Lyon county, was chosen 
elder in charge. Soon after the organization, Levi Thomas 
donated a site for a church and a cemetery, located six and 
one-half miles northwest of Peabody. The church was 
erected in 1881, funds having been solicited for that purpose. 
On September 24, 1881, the first services were held in the 
new building, which was completed just two days before 
at a cost of $1,108.35. 

Brother Elliott left Peabody and moved to Abilene in 
1878, moving again to Texas in 1888. G. W. Thomas was 
a very active minister in these early days. He preached at 
the Fair Play school house, near Florence, where he bap- 
tized a number of people, among them a Baptist minister. 
In February, 1883, he moved back to Iowa. In about 1880, 
Samuel Rairigh, from the Miami valley, Darke county, Ohio, 
moved into the congregation and was given charge of the 
church. When the division came in 1881, he, with his wife, 
Isaac Bashor (minister) and wife, George Rairigh and wife, 
and Adam Gotwals and wife, went with the Old Order 


But the Old Order secession did not permanently cripple 
the church. Members were attracted to the place. From 
January till August, 1884, twenty-one members were re- 
ceived by letter, one was reclaimed, and three others 
were in the community but had not yet presented their 
letters. There were at this time three regular appoint- 
ments : two of them in Harvey county and one in Marion. 

The ministerial record of Peabody is as follows: Elec- 
tions to the ministry: Isaac Bashor, Henry Shomber (Jan- 
uary 19, 1881), J. H. Longfellow (1880), Daniel Shomber 
(September 27, 1883), Enos Fisher (October 13, 1888), 
George Strycker (October 13, 1888), J. A. Thomas (Janu- 
ary 5, 1895), and A. J. Ellenberger (October, 1906). Ordi- 
nations: Jacob B. Shirk (January 19, 1881), J. A. Thomas 
(November 17 or 18, 1900), and Jacob Funk (1913). Elders 
who have held the oversight of the congregation are Jacob 
Buck, Samuel Rairigh, J. B. Shirk, M. Keller, A. M. Dickey, 
J. A. Thomas, J. J. Yoder, N. E. Baker, Jacob Funk, and 
W. A. Kinzie. 

From September 1, 1911, to August, 1913, Jacob Funk 
served this congregation as pastor. For some years the 
membership has been on the wane and its present size is not 

Until 1895, Peabody was in the district of Southeastern 
Kansas, but in that year it was transferred to Southwestern 
Kansas and Southeastern Colorado, thus becoming an ex- 
treme northeastern outpost in the last named district. 


Pleasant Grove was originally a part of the Washing- 
ton Creek congregation ; indeed, it was the older settled part 
of that congregation. In about 1871, the east part was cut 
off from Washington Creek and was called Pleasant £rove, 
but it was soon reunited with the mother church. On April 
2, 1881, however, another separation occurred, the stream 
of Washington Creek serving as the line of division between 
the two congregations — Washington Creek on the west 
and Pleasant Grove on the east. On the date indicated, J. E. 
Hilkey became elder of Pleasant Grove and Peter Brubaker 
of Washington Creek. The necessity of division is evident 
from the fact that at a love feast held at Washington Creek 
in the fall of 1881, there were two hundred and seventy-five 
members and twenty ministers present. 


The first Brethren church to be erected in the state 
was built in 1877 and it is the present Pleasant Grove house. 
Joseph Michael preached the dedicatory sermon. A church 
building called the Brumbaugh house, erected by private 
means, was once situated southeast of the present house 
but it was finally sold to the Wade Branch congregation 
and is still in use as a place of worship. 

The spirit of division has been far too prevalent at 
Pleasant Grove. Early in 1872, the so-called Hoppingite 
schism occurred. A party of the membership, consisting 
of Joseph W. Hopping and wife, Jacob Kaub and wife, Joseph 
Rothrock and wife, Benjamin Shields and wife, William 
Shields and wife, George Shank, his mother, his sister, and 
Barbara Bailey, met in a private council and appointed a 
communion service, which was held in secret. Pleasant 
Grove called in a committee of elders consisting of William 
Gish, C. Holler, Daniel Priddy, John Bowers, Daniel Barn- 
hart, Jacob Negley, and Isaac Hershey. The committee dis- 
owned the above named members because of a failure to 
make due acknowledgements of having done wrong. The 
Hoppingites held to the single mode of feet-washing. 

The Old Order division was felt very decisively at 
Pleasant Grove. Two Miami elders came into a church coun- 
cil and stirred up sentiment for separation. As a climax 
to the deliberations, according to an eye witness, Levi Flory, 
representing the Old Order faction, arose and said: "All 
who believe as I do, follow me," and strode out of the house, 
followed by from one-third to one-half of the membership 
present. The Old Orders are still strong in the community 
and have a church south of the Brethren church at Pleasant 
Grove. The Flory family constitute the chief strength of 
the Old Orders. In 1909, the Old Order Annual Meeting was 
held in the neighborhood. 

For some years Pleasant Grove prospered. In 1893, 
there were eighty-one members. Local difficulties, how- 
ever, have injured the church apparently beyond recovery. 
In 1913, there were fourteen members. The late erection 
of a church at Lone Star (1918) has had the effect of still 
further weakening the church. 

Several men have been elected to the ministry at Pleas- 
ant Grove. They were J. H. Ayres (April 2, 1870), T. G. 
Winey (April 1, 1882), S. B. Katherman (October 1, 1884), 


and E. Hertzler (February 2, 1889). There have been two 
ordinations: T. G. Winey (April 30, 1893) and U. S. Brill- 
hart (October 29, 1914). Among the elders in charge have 
been J. E. Hilkey, I. H. Crist, I. L. Hoover, and Benjamin 

In 1900-1901, J. S. Mohler was located here to revive 
the work. In 1906, Byron Talhelm located here in order to 
take charge. He remained but a short time. In 1910, Dr. 
O. H. Yereman of Kansas City filled the appointments. In 
1914, U. S. Brillhart became pastor. For a time an impulse 
for better times was felt, but upon Brother Brillhart's 
removal there appeared to be no improvement. During the 
winter of 1915-1916, a revival held by C. S. Garber resulted 
in a number of accessions to the church. 

Lack of leadership, personal feeling, and emigration 
have conspired to weaken Pleasant Grove until today there 
is little hope that the work can ever be revived. The mem- 
bers worship with the newly-established congregation at 
Lone Star. 

(Rush County) 

The Pleasant Valley school house is located about forty 
miles northwest of Larned and four northwest of Nekoma, 
in Rush county. In 1908, there were three members here ; 
namely, Sister Minnie Fixmer and two children, who had 
moved about three years before that date. Through the 
influence of Sister Fixmer there had been started a Sunday 
School and Christian Workers' meeting. She wrote to Elder 
M. Keller at Larned, in 1908, asking that he or someone else 
come to her community to preach. Elder Keller sent J. R. 
Wine to hold some meetings. Brother Wine made three 
trips in the fall of 1908. Later, Elder Keller, at Sister 
Fixmer's request, sent S. P. Weaver, who, in January, 1909, 
held a ten days' series of meetings. Extremely cold weather 
prevented large crowds but there were ten accessions as a 
result of the meetings, which Brother Weaver continued a 
few weeks later. During the summer of 1909, Brother 
Weaver conducted services for the members and in the fall 
of the same year the District Mission Board sent A. J. 
Crumpacker of McPherson to do the preaching. There was 
never a separate organization, the Pleasant Valley members 
considering themselves as belonging to the Walnut Valley 


congregation. There has been no recent notice of any 
church activity in the neighborhood. 

(Phillips County) 

It was in answer to a call in the Gospel Messenger 
made by Sylvester Workman that in March, 1890, Bro. J. W. 
Jarboe of the Maple Grove congregation held the first meet- 
ings ever held by the Brethren in Phillips county. The 
services were held in the Salem school house in the north- 
east part of the county. The result of his efforts was an 
urgent invitation to conduct services regularly in the neigh- 
borhood, which invitation he accepted and preached once a 

In December, 1890, Bro. Jarboe and wife moved to 
Phillips county and entered more actively upon the work. 
There were but five members before his coming. That year 
he baptized seven persons. A few moved into the commun- 
ity. The Pleasant View church was organized at Bro. 
Jarboe's home on January 8, 1891, Elders B. B. Whitmer 
and John Ikenberry having the work in charge. Bro. Whit- 
mer was chosen elder in charge. J. W. Jarboe was the min- 
ister and Samuel Shook was a deacon. The charter mem- 
bers were J. W. Jarboe and wife, Mary M., Sylvester Work- 
man, sr., Eliza Workman, Zachariah Shook, Mary Shook, 
Samuel Shook, Mrs. Samuel Shook, Barbara Workman, Ella 
Johnson, Daniel Reams, Martha Reams, Katie Shook, Claude 
Shook, Martha Workman, and Cora Motsinger. 

Bro. Jarboe remained at Pleasant View until March, 
1896, and did excellent work for the cause. During this 
time he baptized fifty-eight persons. Some members moved 
in from Douglas county. Of those baptized several were 
from the Methodist, Christian, Catholic, and Baptist per- 
suasions. After moving to Red Cloud, Nebr., Bro. Jarboe 
returned and preached at Pleasant View once a month. 
Later J. J. Ernst of Burr Oak moved in and ministered at 
Pleasant View. On October 31, 1911, he was ordained here 
by Elders J. W. Jarboe and A. J. Wertenberger. 

Crop failures and financial reverses, however, were 
against the place and the consequent moving away of many 
of the members led to the disorganization of the church. At 
one time there were five different preaching points under 
the care of Pleasant View. They were Salem, the Evangel- 


ical church at Woodruff, Dana, Turner, and Willowdale. 
There were good results at all these places except Willow- 
dale. There were always good crowds and keen interest. 
In 1893-1894 there were about sixty-five members. A little 
help rendered at the right juncture by the Mission Board 
might have saved the day, but the reverses above mentioned 
apparently could not be outlived. Bro. Jarboe lost his farm 
and the thousand dollars which he had paid on it. In 1901, 
Pleasant View was disorganized and placed under the care 
of the District Mission Board. The letters of the members 
were placed with the Maple Grove congregation. 

Elders who in succession had charge of the Pleasant 
View church were B. B. Whitmer, Lewis Lerew, Powell B. 
Porter, J. W. Jarboe, and J. J. Ernst. Elder Jarboe was 
identified with the Quinter church at the time of his death 
(March 17, 1920). 

(Reno County) 

The first Brethren to locate near what is now the 
Pleasant View church were Elder Abraham Shepler and 
wife, Brother and Sister Sager, Sister Frank Shepler, Enos 
Fisher and wife, and Frank Morris and wife. They all came 
from Indiana in the spring of 1885. Low-priced land brought 
these members to Kansas. Elder Shepler was offered free 
land but was disappointed when he arrived in Kansas. Mem- 
bership was held in the Salem church, near Nickerson. By 
the summer of 1886, there were enough members to effect 
an organization. 

Accordingly, on June 1, 1886, the Pleasant View con- 
gregation was organized one and one-half miles west and 
one mile south of Darlow, at the Lincoln school house, by 
Elders Shepler and L. Hillery. The charter members in 
addition to those already mentioned were Lemuel Hillery 
and wife, Benjamin Schisler and wife, A. F. Miller and wife, 
Peter Hartman and wife, Hetty Engle, and Sister Mercer. 

In the fall of 1886, the building was erected where the 
organization had taken place. A large part of the funds 
necessary for its erection came from the liberal hand of 
Hetty Engle, who later moved to Maryland. A Sunday 
School was organized in the spring of 1887. 

The following have been elected to the ministry at 
Pleasant View: A. F. Miller (May 12, 1888), W. A. Rose 


(1889), Bruce A. Miller (December 20, 1902), G. W. Keedy 
(December 2, 1916), and Carl N. Rexroad (December 2, 
1916). Brother Rexroad was graduated from McPherson 
College in 1918 and has since attended Yale University, 
where he made a brilliant record. The following have been 
ordained: A. F. Miller (May 15, 1897), W. A. Rose (Decem- 
ber 20, 1902), H. B. Martin (February 28, 1914), 0. H. 
Feiler (May 6, 1916), and G. W. Keedy (September 28, 
1919). Elders in charge have been Abraham Shepler (1886- 
1888), L. Hillery (1888-1889), E. Eby (1889-1898), T. G. 
Winey (1898), A. F. Miller (1899-1914), H. B. Martin (1914- 
1917), A. F. Miller (1917), O. H. Feiler (1917-September 22, 
1920), G. W. Keedy (September 22, 1920-May 3, 1921), and 
W. A. Kinzie (May 3, 1921- ). 

The following evangelists and some others have served 
the church: S. N. McCann, L. Hillery, E. Eby, C. M. Year- 
out, Moses Dierdorff, D. L. Miller, W. H. Miller, J. P. Harsh- 
barger, F. H. Crumpacker, W. R. Miller, D. A. Miller, H. B. 
Martin, W. E. Thompson, O. H. Austin, 0. H. Feiler. 

Emigration has caused considerable losses of member- 
ship. At one time about fifteen members left for Grand 
Valley, Colorado, where they were organized under Elder 
W. A. Rose. The present membership (1919) is about fifty. 
Elder G. W. Keedy was the pastor for some time until he 
moved to Iowa. T. P. Oxley took his place as minister and 
superintendent of the Old Folks' Home. 

At various times several outlying appointments have 
been kept up. Among them were Bell school house, 25 miles 
southwest; Arlington, 14 miles southwest; Riverton school 
house, 12 miles southwest; Pretty Prairie, 14 miles south; 
Van Sickle school house, 15 miles east Poplar school house, 
9 miles northwest. The work in Hutchinson was begun 
largely under the inspiration of Pleasant View. This has 
since grown into a prosperous congregation. The Old 
Folks' Home, located at Darlow, has also found a sub- 
stantial friend in the local congregation. 


It was through the request of Samuel Thomas of 
Brainard, Kansas, to Elder Enoch Eby of Booth, that the 
interest of the Mission Board of Southwestern Kansas and 
Southwestern Colorado was aroused to the point of sending 
George E. Studebaker of McPherson to do mission work 


in Butler county. On February 21, 1891, Brother Stude- 
baker made his first trip. Regular appointments were held 
every two weeks. 

Members were added and on February 22, 1896, the 
Plum Grove congregation was organized with a membership 
of twenty-five, Elders Studebaker and M. Keller presiding at 
the organization. Bro. Studebaker was elected elder in 
charge and retained that office as long as the church ex- 
isted. He was assisted in his work by brethren Frank H. 
Bradley and M. Keller. Within a few years the Brethren 
had baptized a number of converts, among them Samuel 
Thomas, Sarah Jane Thomas, Josie Thomas, Laura Thomas, 
Ella Thomas, Frank Mellott, Esther Mellott, Mary Jane 
Bricker, Mary Stoltz, James Spencer, Mary Jane Spencer, 
Jennie Thomas, Mary Thomas, Amanda Muller, and J. M. 
Stutzman and wife. 

But the fact that the congregation was not strong 
enough in two years to support itself was a source of dis- 
couragement. The elders of the district decided that the 
church should be disbanded and its territory included in 
the Peabody church. Accordingly, on November 17, 1898, 
Elders George E. Studebaker and Enoch Eby disorganized 
Plum Grove and Peabody and took charge of the members. 
Plum Grove is located twelve miles south of Peabody. 


Perhaps the first member of the Church of the Brethren 
to locate in the vicinity of this church was George Finken- 
binder, a minister, who, on March 19, 1886, settled thirteen 
miles south of Scott City. He came from Richardson county, 
Nebraska. . In May, 1887, J. P. Harshbarger and family of 
Gainesville, Texas, moved to Scott county, driving through 
Indian Territory on the way to Kansas. By the year 1889 
a large number of Brethren were in the community. The 
church was largely the product of the "boom" that char- 
acterized western Kansas in those days. Most of the mem- 
bers took homesteads, pre-empted land, and also took tim- 
ber claims, thus securing three-quarters of a section apiece. 
Each planted ten acres of timber. Bro. Harshbarger had 
the reputation of being the best tree grower in the country. 

The church was organized on June 25, 1887, Elders 
Enoch Eby and Lemuel Hillery assisting at the organiza- 


tion. The membership was scattered in the counties of 
Lane, Scott, Finney, Hamilton, and Wichita, and the terri- 
tory included seventeen counties in southwest Kansas, four 
in the Panhandle of Texas, and four in southeastern Colo- 
rado. Of the charter and earlier members the following 
names are recalled: F. A. and Mollie Vaniman, George and 
Hannah Ulery, George and Lizzie Finkenbinder, Maude, 
Walter, and Emma Finkenbinder, Joseph and Ida Hudson, 
Homer and Laura Ullom, J. P. and Mary Harshbarger, 
Laura Harshbarger, Jacob Gauby, wife, and daughter, Zac- 
chaeus Henricks, Edward and Emma Westfall, Jeremiah 
Thomas and wife, George Armentrout and wife, Joseph 
Stover and wife, Anna Stover, Benjamin and Mattie Rohrer, 
Daniel Prough and wife, Joseph Prough and wife, Joseph 
Kinzie and wife, Loma Kinzie, Thomas Vancil and wife, 
Susan Garst, John Garst and wife, William Frantz and 
wife, John Hollar and wife, and Jacob Wagaman and wife. 
These members were largely from Illinois, Nebraska, Mis- 
souri, and other parts of Kansas. The ministers were 
Brethren Harshbarger, Finkenbinder, Henricks, Stover, and 
Armentrout. Early services were held in a sod school house 
and at Bro. Finkenbinder's home. 

Hardly had the church made a good start, however, 
when in the fall of 1889, the hard times commenced. Im- 
mediately there was a flux of population going back to 
former homes in the East. It was probably the influence of 
Bro. Finkenbinder that prevented more of the Brethren 
leaving the place. He entertained high hopes for the coun- 
try even in the most trying times. One of the early mem- 
bers says he believes that more of the members were thus 
held to the local church and community than was true of 
any other western Kansas Brethren church. 

In 1893, the church house was erected. It is located 
one-half mile north and one and one-half miles west of the 
town of Friend. There is a graveyard close to the church. 
After the organization of the church there were many addi- 
tions to the membership by baptism. Special efforts were 
made by such evangelists as George E. Studebaker, Enoch 
Eby, Daniel Vaniman, M. Keller, A. M. Dickey, C. E. Arnold 
and others, resulting in substantial increases in member- 

Five brethren have been called to the ministry at 


Prairie View. They are: Homer Ullom (1890), J. H. Force 
(June 1, 1907), Charles Crist (1908), Edward Weaver 
(1908), and Marion Roesch (1918). J. H. Force was or- 
dained on January 9, 1915, and for some time was elder 
in charge. Other elders who have held the oversight have 
been E. Eby, J. B. Wertz, A. M. Dickey, S. E. Thompson, 
John E. Crist, and M. Keller. Joseph Stover died at Prairie 
View on October 1, 1890. 

Brethren who have left the community of late have 
been induced to do so more largely by the prevailing good 
prices for land and the readiness of its sale than because of 
poor crops. The present membership of Prairie View is 
seventy. Until recently there were two resident elders, J. H. 
Force and John E. Crist, but Brother Force has moved 


One of the more recent churches to be organized in 
Kansas is that at Protection, Comanche county. The first 
members to settle in the community were from the Kansas 
Center church, in Rice county. Cheap land took them to 
this part of the state. Most of them live from four to ten 
miles south of the town of Protection. 

The first item in the church book reads: "Nov. 30, 
1912, Elders G. W. Weddle and C. D. Hylton, by appoint- 
ment of the elders of the D. M. at Conway Springs, Kans., 
met with the members in Comanche county, Kans., at the 
home of Benjamin F. Brubaker for the purpose of assisting 
Eld. J. W. B. Hylton in organizing the members residing in 
this community into an organized body." 

The charter members were : D. W. Jones, Mary Jones, 
B. F. Brubaker, Anna Brubaker, Ruth Brubaker, Grace 
Brubaker, Mable Brubaker, J. W. B. Hylton, Mary E. Hylton, 
Frances Hylton, Roy P. Hylton, Roscoe Hylton, Harold 
Hylton, and Ella Meals. Elder C. D. Hylton of Bloom, Kan- 
sas, was elected elder in charge for one year, with Elder 
J. W. B. Hylton to assist him. Benjamin F. Brubaker was 
ordained to the eldership at this first business meeting. 

C. D. Hylton remained elder in charge for one year, 
when, owing to his removal to his old home at Troutville, 
Va., he resigned. April 17, 1915, B. F. Brubaker succeeded 
to the eldership, which office he held until the summer of 
1918, when O. H. Feiler of Hutchinson became elder in 


charge. Brother Feiler was succeeded by Elder G. W. 
Weddle. October 11, 1913, S. E. Hylton, a minister in the 
first degree, and his wife, were received by letter. 

One election of the ministry has occurred. In January, 
1915, Roy P. Hylton was called to that office. For several 
years he taught school near home and then returned to Mc- 
Pherson College for more work. He has had some success- 
ful experience as an evangelist. 

There is no church building, but the Bluff Creek school 
house, eight miles southwest of Protection is used for church 
services. The membership has grown since the organiza- 
tion, but with little permanence. Failure of crops and other 
causes have conspired to cause continual emigration. On 
October 20, 1920, the District Conference of Southwestern 
Kansas and Southeastern Colorado, because of the dwindling 
membership of this church, authorized its disorganization. 


In the spring of 1885, John and Benjamin Ikenberry, 
of Dodge county, Nebraska, came to Wakeeney, Kansas, 
looking for a location for a colony of Brethren. At Wa- 
keeney they met J. A. Baker, a "locater," who helped 
survey the town of Quinter in September, 1885. During 
September, 1885, and January, 1886, a hotel was being 
built in the town — the first building to be erected. Ephraim 
Cober was one of the first to take lodging in the hotel. On 
February 14, 1886, he preached the first sermon ever de- 
livered in the town, in the hotel lobby, seventeen persons in 
the hotel constituting his audience. 

On August 14, 1886, the Quinter church was organized 
by Elders B. B. Whitmer, M. M. Eshelman, John Newcomer, 
John Brower, John Hollinger, JohnHumbargar, J.D.Tros- 
tle, and I. H. Crist. Trego, Gove, St. John, Sherman, and 
Wallace counties were included in the territory of the new 
church, and it was further decided that "unless otherwise 
provided for, those in Thomas and southern Sheridan county 
may hold here." 

The charter members were Elder John Ikenberry and 
wife, Benjamin Ikenberry, Jonathan Ikenberry, Lucy Iken- 
berry, Ephraim Cober, John Hawn and wife, Christian 
Roesch and wife, Jonathan Frantz and wife, Gottlieb Roesch 
and wife, Anna Roesch, Katie Roesch, Sister Gillespie, J. A. 


Baker and wife, Joe Baker and wife, Weldon Baker, Mattie 
Baker, Ward Baker, Walter Sisler, George G. Lehmer and 
wife, M. J. Frantz and wife, Ben Hemby and wife, Mary 
Hemby, Laura Oblinger, George Baker, Bro. Miller and wife, 
Joseph Trimmer and wife, Nellie Trimmer, Joseph Trimmer, 
jr., Dan Shook and wife, Lew. Hoff and wife, Frank Buck- 
ingham and wife, Bro. Deardorff and wife, Bro. Shrauger 
and wife, Will Nichols, Eddie Barnhart, Maggie Doyle, 
Bettie Ikenberry, Christian Shaffer and wife, Joe Easton 
and wife, Lon Heaston and wife, John Blickenstaff, Marietta 
Frantz, David Blickenstaff, and Levi Blickenstaff. These 
members were mainly from Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Pennsyl- 
vania, Minnesota, and Nebraska. 

The first two meetings were held in the dining room 
of the hotel ; then a new store building was used, after which 
the hall over the store was used until the first school house 
was built in Quinter (October, 1886). Ministers who did 
faithful work in these earlier years were John Ikenberry, 
B. B. Whitmer, Charles Hillery, Isaac Studebaker. They 
were succeeded in their labors by such men as D. A. Crist, 
T. E. George, J. W. Jarboe, J. B. Wertz, and J. S. Mohler. 

The hard years succeeding 1890 weighed heavily upon 
the Quinter church. There were perhaps four car-loads 
of provisions brought in to relieve the suffering, two of them 
being accompanied by brethren. The winters proved espe- 
cially trying to those who had cattle, but in those days there 
was at least some grazing that enabled farmers to tide over 
until spring. Most of the Brethren kept cows and were 
able to market butter. Some of the men left their families 
and went East in search of work, regarding themselves 
fortunate to earn from eighty to ninety cents a day. The 
uncertainty of the crops has been a constant source of an- 
noyance in western Kansas and this fact explains to a 
great extent the fluctuations of the membership at Quin- 
ter, which at times has risen to four hundred. Many of 
the Brethren, moreover, have been renters and for that 
reason have been more disposed to moving about. 

Quinter church has done mission work on an extended 
scale. This has been possible because of the large number 
of ministers within the congregation. Sharp Mission, begun 
in a sod school house, has been one of the most successful 
of the outlying appointments. Bro. 0. H. Feiler and wife, 


now of Navarre, Kansas, were converted at this mission. 
Roy A. Crist has been in charge of this point. Morning 
Star mission also started in a sod school house. It is located 
twenty-five miles southwest of Quinter. So successful has 
this point been that in 1909, a church was built twenty 
miles southwest of Quinter. It has been supplied 
with ministers from the mother church, although a few 
years ago good work was done by brethren F. M. Peek 
and F. R. Smith. The Shiloh school house, situated twenty 
miles northeast of Quinter, was once the scene of ministerial 
labors on the part of the Brethren and a few members are 
still living in this community. Mount Hope mission, seven 
miles northwest of Quinter, and supplied with ministers 
from the home church, is still in operation. For some time 
the Dorrance congregation, small and weak in numbers, 
has been supplied with preaching from Quinter. Big Creek 
mission and the preaching point at the Hackberry school 
house have been discontinued. 

Quinter has not been slow in making use of her talent 
in the work of the ministry. The following have been in- 
ducted into the ministerial office: D. A. Crist (April 17, 
1894), 0. H. Feiler (May 2, 1908), Henry D. Bowman (May 
22, 1909), David H. Heckman (May 28, 1910), Roy A. Crist 
(June 17, 1911), Samuel B. Bowman (June 8, 1912), T. P. 
Oxley (June 8, 1912), Miles G. Blickenstaff (June 8, 1912), 
Dennis W. Kesler (September 1, 1917), Curtis B. Bowman 
(September 1, 1917), D. Floyd Crist (September 1, 1917), 
Ezra Wolf (November 29, 1919), and Benjamin Jamison 
(November 29, 1919). The following ordinations are re- 
corded: D. A. Crist (October 10, 1903), T. Ezra George 
(October 10, 1903), Frank M. Peek (December 7, 1910), Roy 
A. Crist (February 17, 1917), and John Oxley (February 
17, 1917). The oversight of the congregation has been suc- 
cessively held by Elders John Ikenberry and D. A. Crist. 

The various activities of the Brotherhood have found 
support in the Quinter church. Many of the young people 
have attended high school and later pursued their education 
further in Brethren schools. Bethany Bible School and 
McPherson College have graduated an encouraging number 
of these young people, most of whom have manifested a 
desire to do distinctively church work. Several of them are 


already on the mission field and others are in preparation 
for that line of service. 


This church, located in the extreme northern part of 
Marion county, was originally included in the territory of 
the Peabody church, but the presence and activities of 
brethren J. D. Trostle and P. R. Wrightsman in Dickinson 
county led to the settling of numerous members rather far 
removed from Peabody. One of the leading men of the 
community once said that in the early days Bro. J. B. Shirk 
did all the preaching that was done in the Ramona com- 
munity. This was before there was a town of Ramona. 
Bro. Shirk was the first of the Brethren to come to the 
locality, settling four miles south of the present townsite. 
He was originally from Pennsylvania but came to Kansas 
from Illinois. The Strickler family from Virginia were 
the second to arrive. Early services were held in the Shirk 
school house. 

The organization was effected on October 18, 1890. 
J. D. Trostle, S. Z. Sharp and P. R. Wrightsman were in 
charge. The charter members were: Elder J. B. Shirk 
and wife, Deacon J. P. Strickler and wife, May Strickler, 
O. 0. Button and wife, Whitmer Shirk, J. D. Meyers, E. E. 
Shaver, Lydia Liddel, and Harvey Shirk. Illinois, Virginia, 
Maryland, Iowa and Pennsylvania were represented in this 
charter membership. At this first meeting Jonathan D. 
Meyers was called to the ministry. 

For some years there was no church building and so 
the Brethren met in school houses. One was the Shirk 
school house and another was that at Ramona, one mile 
west of town. In 1903 the Brethren bought the Ramona 
school house, remodeled it for a church, and now have a 
house of worship in the town of Ramona easily accessible 
to all. 

Four brethren have been called to the ministry, viz., 
0. 0. Button (September 5, 1896), J. D. Meyers (October 
18, 1890), Ellis S. Strickler (June 9, 1894), and John Mel- 
linger. The last named came to the Brethren from the 
Brethren in Christ (River Brethren). Two ordinations 
have occurred. May 5, 1900, 0. 0. Button and J. D. Meyers 
were ordained to the eldership. 

Ramona has had her losses by emigration. Statistics 


show that from the time of organization until 1916 seven- 
teen had moved to California, five to Pennsylvania, nine to 
Iowa, three to Colorado, and twenty-one to other Kansas 
congregations. The membership in 1916 was thirty-two. 
That year the church suffered a great loss in the sudden 
death of Bro. Button — a safe and wise counselor. Two other 
mainstays in the work are Dr. and Mrs. J. Harvey Saylor. 
Dr. Saylor graduated from McPherson College in 1904. Mrs. 
Saylor (nee Susie Slusher) was the first lady to take the 
A.B. degree at McPherson. The date of her graduation was 

In 1916, the church decided to employ a pastor and 
found the man in Elder Ernest F. Sherfy, a former student 
at Bethany Bible School and McPherson College, as well as 
a successful evangelist. Bro. Sherfy lived at McPherson 
and attended college while serving as pastor. He was suc- 
ceeded in June, 1919, by Elder D. H. Heckman, who also 
took work at McPherson College while doing pastoral work. 
Brother Heckman resigned in the spring of 1921 in order 
to accept the pastorate at Garden City, Kansas. 

Ramona's peculiar situation with respect to district 
boundaries has led to some few changes. In 1895 we find 
her asking the Conference of Southeastern Kansas to be 
transferred to the Southwestern district. It is alleged 
that she is so remote from the body of churches of South- 
eastern Kansas that she finds it rather inconvenient to 
attend district conference. A changing of the boundary 
line of the district to the east line of Marion county, it is 
pointed out, would be the only necessary change involved. 
Permission was given for the change. Then in 1900 East 
Maple Grove church in Northeastern Kansas asked the dis- 
trict meeting to petition Southwestern Kansas to allow 
Northeastern Kansas to recognize Ramona as properly 
within the territory of the last named district. Finally, in 
1902, the Ramona church was definitely placed in North- 
eastern Kansas. 

The work at Ramona is somewhat circumscribed. The 
town with a population of only about three hundred and 
fifty is overchurched and the people, as some one said, have 
been "preached to death.' , Besides the Brethren there are 
four other organizations in town — the Methodists, Luther- 
ans, "Saints" (Holiness), and Presbyterians, while the 


Brethren in Christ have a church a mile or two outside the 
village. A large per cent of the community belong to some 
persuasion. Aside from the Lutheran minister none of 
the pastors have been residents in the community. 

Since each of the churches has but a few young people 
in its membership, the Brethren, in connection with the 
Methodists and Presbyterians, have a union young peoples 
meeting called the Christian Endeavor, which displaces the 
C. W. B. It meets on alternate Sunday nights at the Breth- 
ren and Methodist churches. The Presbyterians worship in 
the Methodist church, having no building of their own. 

More than thirty of the young people from Ramona and 
community have attended McPherson College. Two of them 
were there the day school opened in September, 1888. They 
were Owen M. and Harvey Shirk, sons of Elder J. B. Shirk. 

(Formerly Vermillion) 

This congregation is located in the northeastern part 
of Marshall county, near the Nebraska line. The church 
building is located six and one-half miles north and one- 
half mile east of the town of Beattie and three south and 
three west of Summerfield. 

There were Brethren in the community for at least a 
year before the time of organization. In the fall of 1882 
several came from Central Illinois. On September 11, 1883, 
A. Z. Gates wrote in the Gospel Messenger that there were 
fifteen members in the community and. that E. Eby had 
preached the first sermon for the Brethren six weeks before. 
This sermon was preached at the Koch school house. He 
further stated that L. H. Eby was to locate in the commun- 
ity. The organization took place on October 27, 1883, and 
the church took its name from the nearby Vermillion Creek. 
The charter members were Hervey Brouhard and wife, John 
Rink, wife, and daughters Mary and Nancy, Ephraim Bar- 
inger and wife, and A. Z. Gates and wife. Henry Bru- 
baker of Holmesville, Nebraska, was elected elder in charge. 

In the spring of 1884, ministerial force came in abun- 
dance. N. F. Brubaker and wife, L. H. Eby and wife, and 
William Smith and wife, were added to the membership. 
The brethren were all ministers. L. H. Eby was elected to 
the ministry in the Waddam's Grove congregation, Illinois, 
on September 2, 1882. Thus, by March 22, 1884, the mem- 


bership had mounted to twenty-five. In view, however, of 
possible losses by emigration, it was deemed best to add 
to the official body, and accordingly on August 23, 1885, 
Hervey Brouhard was elected to the ministry and John 
Rink and Ephraim Baringer to the deacon's office. 

There was no church building until the summer of 1890. 
The church was dedicated on July 13, 1890, by Elder J. S. 
Mohler. Before the erection of the church, services were 
held in the Barklow school house, one-half mile west of 
the present church building. There were also in those early 
days preaching services at various outlying points where 
isolated members were living. The ministers "took turns" 
at the Frost and Balderson school houses. For a few years 
there was also an appointment about thirty miles southwest 
of the church, down near Frankfort. Several baptisms re- 
sulted at this place. Occasionally there was also preaching 
at Irving, in the extreme southern part of the county where 
there was a family of Brethren. In 1885, there were six 
regular appointments. 

The following ministers have been called by this 
church: Hervey Brouhard (August 23, 1885), Simon Stude- 
baker (November 10, 1888), Ellis M. Studebaker (October 
6, 1906), and Ira H. Frantz (October 6, 1906). Brethren 
Brouhard and Simon Studebaker are now deceased. The 
former died in the Vermillion church on March 26, 1899. 
The latter came from Stephenson county, Illinois, in 1887. 
He was born in Pennsylvania, on November 21, 1847, was 
married to Charlotte Etter on August 18, 1872, and passed 
away on April 7, 1903. He was the father of Professor 
E. M. Studebaker, now a prominent educator at McPherson 
College. Ira H. Frantz, a son of J. R. Frantz, attended Mc- 
Pherson College for a time and then went to Mount Morris 
College, from which he was graduated. Then he was in 
charge of the Old Folks' Home at Mount Morris, but since 
February 11, 1919, has been pastor at Richland Center. 
He is doing very efficient work. 

The following ordinations have occurred : Simon Stude- 
baker (June 24, 1899), and J. R. Frantz (June 24, 1899). 
Elders in charge have been: Henry Brubaker (October 27, 
1883-March 27, 1886), J. S. Mohler (March 27, 1886-August 
28, 1889), William Davis (August 28, 1889-December 29, 
1900), Simon Studebaker and J. R. Frantz, jointly (Decern- 


ber 29, 1900-1911), John G. Eby (1911-December, 1917), 
R. A. Yoder (December, 1917-March, 1919), and Ira H. 
Frantz (March, 1919- ). John G. Eby was elected to 
the ministry in the Waddam's Grove church, Illinois, on 
October 12, 1872. He is a brother of L. H. Eby, a son of 
the well-known Elder Enoch Eby, and the father of E. H. 
Eby, missionary to India. 

In giving E. H. Eby and Ellis M. Studebaker to a larger 
service in the Church of the Brethren, the Richland Center 
church has indeed made a generous contribution. 

The church has found some difficulty in retaining its 
ministers for any length of time. This has left the preach- 
ing largely in the hands of the older ministers and non-resi- 
dents. The younger ministers, however, have given a good 
account of themselves elsewhere. From May, 1913 to 1917, 
George G. Canfield of Belleville, a former student of Mc- 
Pherson College, was pastor. There was growth under his 
administration. During the summer of 1918, Clarence A. 
Eshelman, a student at the college, did pastoral work. 

In the summer of 1917, the church was remodeled and 
an addition of sixteen by thirty was made, also a baptistry 
was added. On June 21, 1915, the name of the congregation 
was changed from Vermillion to Richland Center, since the 
church is located in Richland township. Few churches in 
Kansas present better opportunities for the development 
of a community center than does Richland Center. Far 
enough removed from town, it is easy to secure crowds. 
The Brethren are in an unusually good position to minister 
to a community not already crowded with workers of other 
denominations. But leaders are sorely needed. 


The Rock Creek church is located six miles north of 
Sabetha, in Berwick township, Nemaha county. It was 
organized on May 17, 1887, out of territory belonging to the 
Sabetha congregation. Elder J. S. Mohler presided at the 
meeting held for the purpose of organizing. He was also 
chosen first elder in charge. Daniel Fry, of the Pony Creek 
church, and Josiah Beeghly, of Garrett county, Maryland, 
were also present. The charter members were Ephraim 
Cober, George Sperling, Cyrus J. Mishler, William M. 
Lichty, E. J. Beeghly, Ananias Cober, Barbara Cober, Wil- 
liam H. Miller, Hannah Lichty, Susan Kaub, Annie Bing- 


ham, Lydia Fike, Sarah Sperline, Abigail Sperline, Hattie 
Mishler, Amanda Beeghly, Delilah Beeghly, Michael 
Beeghly, John Emmert, Lizzie Thomas, Lucinda Carl, Sarah 
Miller, William Bingham, and Susan Hart. These charter 
members were originally from Pennsylvania, Maryland, 
Ohio, and Iowa. But few of them are any more living in 
that community. Cheap land had brought them to Kansas. 

Rock Creek was the home church of Ephraim Cober, 
who at the time of his death was the oldest minister in 
the Church of the Brethren. He passed away at his home 
during the sessions of the Wichita Annual Conference, in 
June, 1917. For many years Rock Creek has also been the 
home of J. J. Hoover, one of the most venerable ministers 
in the state. 

Among those who have served as elder in charge of the 
Rock Creek church are J. S. Mohler, P. E. Whitmer, William 
Davis, C. B. Smith, and H. D. Bowman. For a number of 
years Walter Mason was pastor of the congregation. He 
was succeeded by Henry D. Bowman, who served until May, 
1921. Two brethren were elected to the ministry by the 
congregation but declined to serve. Walter Mason was 
ordained to the eldership in 1919. 

In 1914, as a result of the evangelistic efforts of George 
G. Canfield, twenty-three were added to the church by 
baptism, thus increasing the membership eighty per cent. 

The church building at Rock Creek was erected in 
1888, and was dedicated on November 18, of that year. 

Upon the resignation of Brother Bowman, Elder J. J. 
Tawzer was secured as pastor and he is at present serving 
in the pastorate (1921). 

(Formerly Newton Country) 

In 1879, Daniel Shomber and wife, formerly of the 
Manor congregation, Pennsylvania, were the only members 
of the Church of the Brethren living in Harvey county. 
More members, however, were attracted to the community, 
for in 1885 there were thirty-four who logically belonged 
to the territory of the future Newton church. 

On June 13, 1885, a meeting was held at the home of 
Levi Andes in Newton and in accordance with the permis- 
sion given by the Peabody church a call was then issued 
for a meeting to be held on August 18, for the purpose of 


effecting an organization. Accordingly, on that date the 
members met at the home of Jacob W. Miller, two miles 
north of the town of Walton and eleven miles northeast of 
Newton. The elders present were John Wise, John Hum- 
bargar, Jacob B. Shirk, and Washington Wyland. Of this 
meeting John Wise wrote : "At this feast I saw something 
I never saw before. About forty sisters were seated at the 
communion table in a corn-crib and about the same number 
of Brethren in the drive-way. This constituted the Breth- 
ren's meeting-house at this place, with a small tent for 
spectators." Of the charter members the following names 
are remembered: Daniel Shomber and wife, Jacob W. 
Miller and wife, Jacob Gauby and wife, William Will and 
wife, Samuel Lawver and wife, Samuel Steiner and wife, 
Eli Roose and wife, John Wales and wife, Levi Andes and 
wife, Henry Showalter and wife, and Susan Brubaker. 
These members had come from Illinois, Ohio, Pennsylvania, 
Virginia, and Indiana. Eli Roose is now an elder in the 
Yellow Creek congregation, Indiana. 

Since there was but one resident minister, Levi Andes 
was elected to the ministry and Jacob W. Miller to the 
office of deacon. The church, located three miles west and 
two south of Newton, was erected in the fall of 1889 on 
land donated by Deacon Reuben Royer. A cemetery adjoins 
the church. 

Levi Andes was the pioneer pastor and served the 
church faithfully amid many difficulties. He died on July 
16, 1910, and is buried in the Newton cemetery. From 
1887 to 1889, Newton was the home of Elder George N. 
Falkenstein, now of Elizabethtown, Pa. For a number of 
years A. L. Snoeberger and John Thomas did the preaching. 
For some twenty years past, U. S. Royer has done most 
of the work. Brother Royer deserved much credit for main- 
taining interest in the church in the face of obstacles. He 
is today the mainstay of this church community. In all 
there have been about seventy-five received into the church 
by baptism. 

A mission point was started in the city of Newton in 
1904. This prospered and in 1918 was organized as a 
separate church, leaving but a few families of Brethren 
in the old church community. These were reorganized 
in 1918, under the name of Royer Community church, 


with a membership of twenty. This community church is 
adapting itself to modern conditions and is endeavoring to 
serve the whole community educationally, socially and 
spiritually. A lecture course, choral society, and rural life 
conference have been conducted successfully. 

In May, 1898, the Walton members were organized as 
a separate congregation. Elders William Mohler and John 
Thomas served as ministers. In January, 1912, Walton 
was disorganized. 

The following have been elected to the ministry in the 
Newton church: Levi Andes (August 18, 1885), Andrew 
G. Miller (November 6, 1897), U. S. Royer (June 4, 1898), 
and George E. Wales (fall of 1902) . Elders in charge have 
been Daniel Riggle, Abraham Shepler, E. Eby, John Wise, 
William Johnson, A. M. Dickey, L. D. Mohler, C. E. Wolf, 
William Mohler, N. E. Baker, and M. J. Mishler. 

Among the pioneers buried near the church are 
Deacons Adam Graybill, John Wales, and Reuben Royer. 
For some years Brother Wales served on the District Mis- 
sion Board. Brother Royer was largely instrumental in 
getting the Arkansas Valley Interurban to pass close to 
the Brethren church. 


The Russell County church was formed out of the 
territory of the Dorrance church. There were twenty-five 
members present at the organization, which took place on 
October 14, 1886. Elders Enoch Eby, John Forney, John 
Hollinger, John Brower, and John Newcomer had the work 
of organization in charge. On the day of organization G. 
W. Crissman and Frank Hollinger were elected to the 

On July 7, 1888, the first council meeting was held in 
Russell at the home of John Hollinger. Elder Isaac Stude- 
baker of Quinter presided. Services were held at various 
school houses over the country and in the homes of the 
members in Russell. John Hollinger was the elder in 
charge, George W. Crissman was a minister in the first 
degree, and Isaac Betts and Sloan Crissman were deacons. 
On May 8, 1897, E. S. Fox was elected to the ministry and 
George W. Crissman was ordained to the eldership. 

The written records of the church begin in 1890. From 
this time until 1899, a number of members were added to 


the congregation, but emigration prevented any permanent 
gains. In 1900, E. S. Fox was advanced in the ministry. 
Shortly thereafter he moved away, locating at Larned. 
Continued losses of members led the church, on March 23, 
1901, to ask the District Conference to disorganize the 
Russell County congregation. This request was granted, 
and in 1903, the disorganization was effected by Elders W. 
B. Himes and I. S. Lerew. The members were assigned to 
the Dorrance church. 

So far as is known John Hollinger was elder in charge 
during the whole life of the Russell County church. He 
passed away in Russell on June 10, 1910. His wife was 
still living in Russell in 1919, at the advanced age of eighty- 
two. There are just a few other members living within the 
bounds of the former church. 


When E. J. Beeghly moved from Somerset county, 
Pennsylvania, in March, 1878, to a farm three miles south 
of the town of Sabetha, in Nemaha county, he found but 
two families of Brethren in the community. These two 
families were those of Ephraim Cober, formerly of Berlin, 
Pa., and William Bingham, formerly of Illinois. Better 
opportunities for securing homes had brought these mem- 
bers to Kansas. Preaching services were soon started at 
the Webster school house, three miles south of Sabetha, 
J. J. Lichty and Ephraim Cober doing the preaching. Two 
of the converts at this place were a Christian minister and 
his son. 

In December, 1878, there were thirteen members in 
the community. Brother Cober was the minister and E. J. 
Beeghly was a deacon. In the winter of 1881 and the spring 
of 1882, many members moved in from the East, largely 
from Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. 

The organization of the Sabetha church took place on 
April 8, 1882, when at a council meeting of the Pony Creek 
church held in the Albany school house, two miles north 
of Sabetha, the Nemaha county members were separated 
from Pony Creek. Elders Martin Myers and W. J. H. 
Bauman were present at the meeting. The charter mem- 
bers were E. Cober and wife, William Bingham and wife, 
E. J. Beeghly and wife, J. B. Kepner and wife, C. J. Hooper 
and wife, John Kreitzer and wife, S. W. Kreitzer and wife, 


B. S. Basket, Ananias Cober, son and daughter, Ida Bing- 
ham, Jacob Cober, Anna Cober, Rhoda Bingham, Sarah 
Livengood, Nellie Livengood, Sister Hahn and daughter, 
William M. Lichty and wife, Sister Keim, Cyrus Mishler 
and wife, Brother Hobbs, and F. F. Barnes and wife. On 
August 19, 1882, Martin Myers was elected elder in 
charge of the new congregation. 

Immigration to the church has been chiefly from Iowa, 
Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Losses by emigration 
have been mostly to other churches in Kansas, although a 
few have gone elsewhere. One congregation has been 
formed out of Sabetha territory, namely Rock Creek, in 
1887. The present (1920) membership at Sabetha is one 
hundred forty. 

Sabetha is composed of a very active membership. All 
of the various activities of the Church of the Brethren are 
found in the congregation. A lecture course has been in 
operation some years. Very generous contributions to 
worthy causes have been made. 

Revivals in this congregation have been held by such 
ministers as J. T. Myers, J. D. Trostle, A. Hutchison, J. S. 
Mohler, C. H. Brown, J. Z. Gilbert, A. VanDyke, C. J. 
Hooper, John Heckman, R. A. Yoder, Reuben Schroyer, J. 
A. Stouder, S. M. Gochenour, George Mishler, J. J. Yoder, 
Chas. M. Yearout, Moses Dierdorff, S. E. Thompson, John 
Mishler, R. H. Nicodemus, W. A. Kinzie, George Manon, 
F. E. McCune, A. D. Sollenberger, Charles A. Miller, and 
others. The following brethren have been called to the 
ministry by the church: C. J. Hooper (September 30, 
1882), John Heckman (September 24, 1885), Roy Kistner 
(November 19, 1911), and Paul R. Yoder (June 2, 1918). 
The following have been ordained here : C. J. Hooper (De- 
cember 5, 1893), R. A. Yoder (June 6, 1896), and Roy 
Kistner (May 24, 1919). Elders in charge have been 
Martin Myers (1882-1885), William Davis (1885-1893), 
A. Van Dyke (1893-1897), C. J. Hooper, R. A. Yoder 
(1899-1919), and Roy Kistner (August, 1919— ). 

The Sabetha church house was erected on Second and 
Main streets, in the year 1883. 

A number of ministers have lived for some time in this 
congregation and have then gone to other fields of labor. 
Exclusive of those now residing here, the following are 


mentioned: A. Van Dyke (1892-1897), P. J. Eisenbise 
(1897-1906), J. S. Mohler (1907-1908), and A. Berkeybile. 
John Heckman moved to Illinois in 1892. C. J. Hooper 
moved to Topeka in 1898. The present (1920) ministerial 
body consists of R. A. Yoder, Roy Kistner, and Paul R. 
Yoder. The last named is a graduate of McPherson College 
with the class of 1921. There are eight deacons. 


This congregation, originally known as Ninescah, was 
organized with sixteen members on May 11, 1878, at Prai- 
rie Hall school house, 28 miles south of Nickerson, Elder 
Jacob Buck of Lyon county perfecting the organization. 
The first Brethren to settle in the community were J- W. 
Beer and wife, Amos Hartman and wife, Benjamin Schis- 
ler and wife and Hettie Mercer. They were all from Ill- 
inois. Free land had attracted them to Kansas. 

The charter members were: J. H. and Elizabeth 
Fishel, Benjamin and Matilda Schisler, J. W. and Elmira 
Beer, Josiah and Barbara Gochenour, Isaac Deck and wife, 
Martin and Susan Wampler, Hettie Mercer, Christena 
Imbler, George Gochenour, Christena Gochenour. 

In July, 1878, L. E. Fahrney and wife were received by 
letter. The first business meeting was held on August 3, 
1878. A love-feast was held on October 9, 1878, at Prairie 
Hall. The congregation was widely scattered. There were 
members living up near Little River, who were given the 
right to hold councils of their own, subject, however, to 
Ninescah. In May, 1879, J. W. Beer was permitted to 
answer calls in the south part of the congregation in what 
is now the Murdock church. There were various difficulties 
which the church faced in those days. After some inde- 
cision, on September 19, 1880, the single mode of feet 
washing was adopted. Elder Fishel fell under the displeas- 
ure of the church, one of the charges being the keeping of 
the seventh day. His deposition from the ministry occurred 
on May 21, 1880. In 1882 there were 53 members with 
three ministers and four deacons. 

The comparative harmony of the congregation was 
broken, however, soon after the Annual Conference at Bis- 
marck Grove, held in 1883. A love feast was held a week 
after Conference. It had previously been decided that both 
Progressives and Conservatives might partake of the com- 


munion. The right of Elder Joseph W. Beer of Ohio to 
partake was interfered with by certain elders from Illinois, 
but the local church sustained Bro. Beer's right to commune. 
Finally, on December 3, 1883, a committee consisting of 
Elders John Forney and Jacob B. Shirk and a deacon (per- 
haps John Wales) from Newton, was called in and Jacob W. 
Beer, elder in charge, was tried for Progressivism. Whether 
or no he pled guilty is a matter of dispute, but after some 
deliberation a peaceable separation took place. The vote 
stood 23 to 2. At the division 9 became Progressive, 12 
remained Conservative, and 4 were neutral. The Progres- 
sives erected a church in Nickerson (1897) and for a time 
prospered under the leadership of Bro. Beer. At present, 
however, there are but seven members in the Progressive 
church and services have been suspended. Elder Beer 
still resides in Nickerson. 

In 1885, the Church of the Brethren changed itsname 
from Ninescah to Salem, a church having been built that 
year. It is located 5 miles southwest of Nickerson and 9 
miles southeast of Sterling. (Salt Creek township, south- 
west corner of section 19). 

A number of elections to the ministry have occurred 
at Salem. A more or less complete list follows: J. W. 
Beer (October 10, 1878), L. E. Fahrney (May 21, 1880), 
Isaac Gingrich (March 25, 1882), Percy J. Trostle (1883), 
Daniel T. Dierdorff, Joseph Calvert (May 4, 1891), and 
Elmer W. Price. 

The following ordinations have been performed: J. H. 
Fishel (November 2, 1878) , J. W. Beer (March 25, 1882) , 
Henry T. Brubaker (March 4, 1905), L. E. Fahrney (March 3, 
1906) , M. S. Frantz (December 2, 1914) . Elders in charge 
have been : Jacob Buck, Samuel Rairigh, J. W. Beer, J. D. 
Trostle, Moses E. Brubaker, E. Eby, M. Keller, Henry T. 
Brubaker, L. E. Fahrney, M. J. Mishler, J. Edwin Jones, M. 
S. Frantz, 0. H. Feiler, W. A. Kinzie. Bro. Kinzie became 
elder in charge on May 27, 1918. Among the evangelists 
who have helped build up the work at Salem have been 
Daniel Vaniman, Andrew Hutchison, A. W. Vaniman, I. H. 
Crist, S. N. McCann, W. R. Miller, E. Eby, Jacob Witmore, 
Moses Dierdorff, W. H. Miller, C. M. Yearout, George 
Manon, R. F. McCune, C. B. Smith, A. D. Sollenberger, H. M. 
Barwick, J. J. Yoder, William Lampin, J. Edwin Jones, M. 


S. Frantz, Oliver H. Austin, C. S. Garber, Isaac Frantz. 

For many years the work of the ministry was mainly 
carried on by Bro. Fahrney. His death on September 16, 
1916, removed an aggressive leader. From May 1,1914, to 
September 1, 1916, M. S. Frantz served as pastor. He was 
succeeded by Chas. Harshbarger, who served from March 
4, 1917 to January, 1918. The present pastor, Elder W. A. 
Kinzie, took charge on April 1, 1918. He is a minister and 
evangelist of long experience and is a graduate of the Bible 
School of McPherson College (B. S. L. 1918). 

Valuable accessions to the membership have come from 
immigration from Pennsylvania, Maryland, Illinois and 
Indiana. Losses have been sustained when members mov- 
ed to Iowa, Illinois and Oklahoma. Many have also moved 
to Larned and McPherson. An encouraging number of the 
young people have attended McPherson College. The mem- 
bership in November, 1919 was 81. 

Under the inspiration of the pastor and others several 
activities have been inaugurated with a view of making the 
community a real community center. In September, 1919, 
the first community festival was held. A program suited 
to a country community and well calculated to foster a 
better local environment was carried out successfully. A 
lecture course also has proved attractive and enlisted an 
interest in the church. 

The Salem church completed one of the finest church 
buildings in Kansas in the fall of 1920. It was dedicated on 
September 12, Dr. A. J. Culler delivering the address. The 
total cost of the church was slightly over $33,000, of which 
about $5,000 was raised on the day of dedication. 


In the latter sixties and early seventies, the Abilene 
church had some isolated members living in Lincoln and 
Ottawa counties. Among the very earliest to move to that 
locality was L. W. Fitzwater, formerly of the Limestone 
church, Washington County, Tennessee, who arrived in 
Abilene on September 20, 1870, and located on a claim on the 
Saline river, fifteen miles northwest of Abilene. Brother 
Fitzwater is an old Confederate soldier. Others of the 
Brethren in that community were from Pennsylvania, In- 
diana, Iowa, and Virginia. 

On May 1, 1880, the Saline Valley congregation was 


organized out of the Abilene territory, Elders John Forney 
and John Humbargar having the work in charge. At this 
meeting L. W. Fitzwater was elected to the ministry and 
J. Allen Myers to the office of deacon. Brother Myers came 
from Pennsylvania in April, 1878. For a time he lived in 
Culver and taught school. In July, 1880, he returned to 
Pennsylvania, where for many years he has been connected 
with Juniata College. Among the charter members of 
Saline Valley were: L. W. Fitzwater and wife, Jacob and 
Anna Kinsel, Susan Kinsel, George Kifer and wife, Richard 
Miller, Mary Miller, Sister Bloyd, Sister Spohn, J. Allen 
Myers, Brother and Sister Pie, and Sister Blount. There 
were twenty-five in all. 

The membership has always been very much scattered. 
This largely explains the inability to erect a house of wor- 
ship. Brother Fitzwater himself has always lived in isola- 
tion. There have been members near New Cambria, some 
near Solomon, others at Lincoln, others at Tescott, and 
still others at Culver. Bro. A. W. Thomas lived near Tes- 
cott, and his family was largely responsible for keeping 
alive a preaching appointment at the Tripp school house, 
between Tescott and Culver. This school house is in Ottawa 
county. The Twelve Mile school house in Lincoln county 
was also used for services. Some of the last meetings were 
held in the Roy school house, about six miles northwest of 

Members moved in and at one time there were fifty or 
sixty on the roll. Perhaps more were added by baptism 
than by letter. Losses of members, however, have been 
very heavy. The Old Order defection took but two, but 
the tide of emigration has subtracted at least forty-six 
from the one time membership. 

Much of the preaching has been done by Brother Fitz- 
water. Along about 1890, J. S. Mohler held a revival at the 
Tripp school house with six or eight conversions. Another 
minister of the earlier days was Daniel Stoner, who showed 
considerable promise as a speaker, but who became es- 
tranged from the church thru his interest in and advocacy 
of Socialism. Finally, he became an infidel. In 1881, 
Humphrey Talhelm moved in from the Abilene church. In 
1890, he moved into the Washington church. Returning 


to Saline Valley in 1900 he resided here until his death 

The following brethren have been elected to the min- 
istry in this church: L. W. Fitzwater (May 1, 1880), David 
R. Myers (March 15, 1890), D. H. Bennett (August 14, 
1897), Byron Talhelm (September 1, 1901). There have 
been two ordinations — J. L. Jordan (1885) and L. W. Fitz- 
water (March 15, 1890). Revivalists who have served the 
church have been : J. S. Mohler, John Humbargar, M. For- 
ney, T. E. George, A. C. Daggett, Geo. R. Eller, B. E. 
Kesler, G. W. Burgin, B. Forney, and others. Elders in 
charge have been: John Forney, John Humbargar, John 
Newcomer, John Brower, and L. W. Fitzwater. 

Elder Fitzwater still (1921) does some preaching, al- 
though regular services have been discontinued. 

(Graham and Rooks Counties) 

But few facts are obtainable regarding the congrega- 
tion known as Sand Creek. One of the earliest members, 
however, to come to this locality was James Adamson, of 
Cherokee county, who, in November, 1885, moved to Bow 
Creek, near Whitfield, southwest of the town of Logan. 
There is some evidence that there was an organization of 
some sort before he came, for on Wednesday, May 13, 1885, 
Elders Allen Ives and John Hollinger were in Graham 
county, and finding a body of eleven members, organized 
them as a church. Schuyler Warner was elected to the 
ministry and Brother Shear to the office of deacon. This 
was probably the beginning of the church known as Sand 
Creek, the name of which was taken from a stream in 
Graham county, south of the town of Nicodemus. 

Few additional facts relative to the career of the 
church are at hand. On August 24, 1886, a council of the 
congregation was held and at that time George W. Buck- 
master was elected to the ministry. Elders who at dif- 
ferent times held the oversight were John Newcomer, M. 
M. Eshelman, John Hollinger, and Isaac Studebaker. The 
membership never became large and no church house was 
ever erected. The church has long since passed out of 


This is one of the frontier congregations of western 


Kansas. It is the result largely of the untiring efforts of 
George E. Studebaker, a typical frontier missionary. Of 
the first members, seven lived in Seward county, seven 
in Grant county, nine in Stevens county, and twenty-four 
in Haskell county. The following names of charter mem- 
bers are recalled: Nicholas and Phoebe Yount, L. W. and 
Elizabeth McNutt, Rufus Wyatt and wife, L. H. and Maggie 
Williams, George and Ellen Sickendick, Jerry and Mary 
Brollier, Albert Glazier, Albert Shelton, Theresa Lohmiller, 
Minnie Lohmiller, Josie Lohmiller, Frances Barlow, Myrtle 
Barlow, Minnie Barlow, Martha Buster, Laura Buster, Lillie 
Buster, Anna Boggs, Nanny Boggs, Rosa Lohmiller, Dora 
Newman, Ida Rinehart, Anna Juvinel, Sarah Henline, and 
Joanna Taylor. The organization was perfected by George 
E. Studebaker on November 28, 1894. On that day Rufus 
Wyatt was elected to the ministry and Lawrence McNutt 
to the office of deacon. 

Brother Studebaker was the first elder in charge, 
serving until 1902, when W. D. Harris succeeded him. In 
1898, Rufus Wyatt was able to relieve Bro. Studebaker 
somewhat in the work of the ministry. The largest mem- 
bership ever attained was in 1896, when the number stood 
at forty. Then in two years it dropped to twenty-five. A 
number of members moved away to Pueblo, Colorado, to 
the Prairie Lake church in Oklahoma, or to the Garden 
City church in Kansas. 

For the four years prior to November, 1907, Elder S. 
E. Thompson had charge of the church. It was in that 
month that Elder Thompson closed a meeting in which 
there were seven accessions. Elder J. E. Crist succeeded 
Bro. Thompson, but owing to the great distance at which 
Bro. Crist lived from the church, on October 7, 1911, 
Elder C. E. Wolfe of New Ulysses, succeeded to the over- 
sight. Since the activity of Bro. Thompson, however, there 
has been little done at Santa Fe. 

The Presbyterians built a church in Santa Fe in more 
prosperous times but repeated crop failures caused many 
of their members to move away. In 1895, therefore, the 
Brethren were able to purchase the property. But soon, 
as has been already intimated, the Brethren also began 
to leave the community, with the result that a commodious 
church house is left out on the plains to be added to the 


already too great number of deserted churches. Because 
of these conditions the church was disorganized and the 
building was sold early in 1921, Elders J. E. Crist and W. 
D. Harris having the matter in charge. 


The Scott Valley church, which includes in its territory 
Coffey and Woodson counties and a strip three miles wide 
of the counties of Anderson and Allen, was organized on 
June 18, 1887. It was formerly a part of the Cedar Creek 
(now Mont Ida) congregation. 

The Brethren were apparently unknown in the com- 
munity when in about 1884, Elder Jesse Studebaker of Mont 
Ida, one of the most influential and widely-known of the 
Brethren in eastern Kansas, began holding meetings from 
time to time in the Mount Joy and Scott Valley school 
houses. The presence of a good number of French people, 
largely Spiritualists, did not make the field altogether a 
promising one. Bro. Studebaker was assisted in his efforts 
by Brethren Ghas. M. Yearout and James Shaw. 

When the organization was perfected there were about 
forty or forty-five members who fell properly within the 
bounds of the new congregation. Of the earlier members 
the following names are preserved: Jacob Keim and wife, 
James Shaw and wife, E. J. Miller and wife, John M. Miller 
and wife, Z. B. Mummert and wife, Solomon Boots and wife, 
George Slaughter arid wife, Jerry Overstreet and wife, Job 
Hulse and wife, Adam Clark and wife, Bro. Lane and wife, 
David Miller, Mary Miller, Annie Shemberger, and Caroline 
Bouse. The Scott Valley church was organized at the Scott 
Valley school house, one and one-half miles northwest of 
the present church building. Jesse Studebaker was chosen 
elder in charge, E. J. Miller was elected clerk, and Solomon 
Boots was chosen treasurer. James Shaw and E. J. Miller 
were the ministers and John M. Miller and Z. B. Mummert 
were deacons. 

At the second business meeting it was decided to hold 
meetings alternately at the Mount Joy and Scott Valley 
school houses. In 1888, Charles M. Yearout, a minister in 
the second degree, moved into the congregation. The church 
prospered. A project to build a church in 1889, however, 
miscarried. On July 7, 1891, with Elders S. Z. Sharp, Daniel 
Vaniman, Jesse Studebaker, and James E. Hilkey present, 


Bro. Yearout was ordained to the eldership. On May 20, 
1893, the matter of building a church again came up and a 
committee on location was appointed, consisting of Peter 
Hahn, Jake Clark, and J. M. Miller. A special council, held 
on September 24, 1893, accepted the committee's report, 
agreeing upon the southeast corner of the Woodberry farm 
as the location. The building committee consisted of Jake 
Clark, Solomon Boots, Peter Hahn, C. Myers, and B. Bouse. 
In due time a commodious structure, thirty-two by fifty 
feet, was erected. On November 4, 1894, it was dedicated, 
free from debt, by Elder M. T. Baer. The church is located 
nine miles south and one mile east of Waverly, nine miles 
northwest of Westphalia, and eleven miles west and two 
north of Mont Ida. 

The losses by emigration have been heavy. Accord- 
ing to one account, up to 1915, one hundred and ninety-two 
letters had been granted and but one hundred and sixteen 
had been received. There had been sixteen deaths and 
twenty members had been disfellowshipped. All told, about 
one hundred and twenty persons had been baptized. The 
city of Independence has attracted many members. Others 
have moved to California, Colorado, Idaho, Oklahoma, Mis- 
souri, and Washington. In 1918, the membership was about 
twenty-four or twenty-six. Isolated members who logically 
belong to Scott Valley are found at Hall's Summit, Neosho 
Falls, and Burlington. 

Seven men have been called to the ministry by this con- 
gregation. They are Charles A. Miller (October 13, 1899), 
F. G. Edwards (February 21, 1903), Ernest F. Sherfy (Feb- 
ruary 21, 1903), John S. Sherfy (January 2, 1909), Frank 
R. Smith (January 2, 1909), C. Myers (September 17, 1891), 
and H. C. Smith (October 14, 1896). The two last named 
were, at their own request, relieved of the ministerial office. 
In 1908, J. M. Atkins, a minister, moved into the congrega- 
tion. On July 6, A. M. Peterson, a minister, handed in his 
letter but removed the same year. J. A. Strohm, another 
minister, came in 1911. The following ordinations have 
taken place: Charles M. Yearout (July 7, 1891), Frank 
R. Smith (1914), and J. A. Strohm (December 30, 1916). 
The eldership of the church has been held by the following : 
Jesse Studebaker (1887-1889), Jacob Keim (1889-1890), 
Lemuel Hillery (1890-1891), Chas M. Yearout (1891-1896), 


John Sherfy (1896-1907), R. F. McCune (1907-1908), Chas. 
A. Miller (1908-1915), Frank R. Smith (1915-1916), and 
J. A. Strohm (1916- ). Evangelists who have preached 
for the church in special efforts are John E. Crist, George 
Manon, I. H. Crist, F. E. McCune, Chas. M. Yearout, Moses 
T. Baer, Chas. A. Miller, Salem Beery, John Sherfy, W. H. 
Miller, R. A. Yoder, George R. Eller, E. D. Steward, 0. H. 
Austin, and R. P. Hylton. The pressing need of the com- 
munity and church is pastoral care for the fruits of these 
revival efforts. 


This church, now disorganized, was located in Jackson 
county, between Topeka and Sabetha, and not far from 
Holton. Brethren J. D. Trostle, S. C. Stump and others, 
while passing through the country, often stopped here to 
preach, baptizing several persons. On June 28, 1872, it is 
known that a few candidates were baptized by Elder M. 
Forney. There was at that time no organization of the 
Brethren closer than twenty-five miles. 

The Soldier Creek church was probably organized on 
September 15, 1877, or threabouts, since a love feast was 
held in the community on that date. Elders William Gish 
and John A. Root were present. There were some sixty 
charter members but their names are not available. Brother 
Root kept up preaching here for some time, often driving 
over from Ozawkie in a lumber wagon. Soldier Creek was 
in reality considered an outlying arm of the Ozawkie con- 

But the members did not stay in the community. In 
1888, there were but a few scattered members, and for 
that reason the District Conference of Northeastern Kansas 
placed the church under the care of the elders of the Ozawkie 
church. In 1889, a minister moved in. In 1891, the Dis- 
trict Conference placed the church under the care of the 
Morrill congregation. Conditions becoming no better, in 
1908, the elders of the district recommended that William 
Davis and R. A. Yoder be appointed to visit Soldier Creek 
and that they use their best judgment as to disorganizing 
the church. The members living there, however, did not 
want to be disorganized. Thus the matter rested for some 
time. In 1912, when the matter came up again, C. B. Smith 
and R. A. Yoder were appointed to disorganize the church. 


This was accomplished and the fact was reported to the Dis- 
trict Conference held in Ozawkie in September, 1914. 

Because of the divisions which crept into the congrega- 
tion and the general dissatisfaction resulting therefrom the 
church building was sold some years ago, the United Breth- 
ren being the purchasers, if the author is correctly in- 
formed. The understanding was, however, that the Breth- 
ren could use the house whenever they wished to do so. 


In the spring of 1887, J. J. Wassam was traveling 
solicitor for a Kansas City concern, having his home in 
Greenwood county. That year Bro. C. E. Gillett came into 
his community near Reece and preached a few sermons in 
a near-by school house. There were no visible results. 

Later J. J. Wassam, while returning from Junction City 
on the train, met Dr. P. R. Wrightsman of Navarre, who 
questioned him regarding his spiritual welfare. Wassam 
confessed that he belonged to the devil despite the fact 
that his parents were members of the Church of the Breth- 
ren. Dr. Wrightsman promised to come to the Wassam 
community upon call and to give free services. 

Later Wassam united with the United Brethren church 
upon six months probation, but the matter of baptism 
weighed heavily upon him. He studied his Bible and thought 
that it required trine immersion. He told his United Breth- 
ren pastor of his dilemna and the latter suggested that he 
might perform the rite by this method. Wassam refused 
and sent for Dr. Wrightsman, who came in April, 1888, and 
held three meetings in the Wassam school house. Wassam 
and his wife were baptized. Thereafter Bro. Wrightsman 
came once a month to preach. Others were baptized later, 
one of them being Peter Nelson. 

The Spring Creek church was organized at the home 
of Bro. Wassam in June, 1888, some twelve or fifteen miles 
southwest of the town of Eureka. Geo. W. Studebaker and 
D. W. Stouder were in charge. The charter members were 
J. J. Wassam and wife, James Worrell and wife, Joe Leedy, 
wife and mother, Louis Smith and wife, N. Peter Nelson 
and sister, Mark Wright and wife, John Booth and wife, 
Peter Wise and wife — seventeen in all. By fall there were 
thirty-five members. The next fall there was a love feast 
at which sixty-five communed. 


The Brethren had a fine school house in which to 
meet and Bro. Wassam gave five acres of land for a par- 
sonage. Lemuel Hillery was the first minister to occupy 
the parsonage but he remained only a few months before 
leaving for Indiana. Bro. W. H. Leaman then took up the 
work. In 1890 there were twenty members. 

But about this time Bro. Wassam became interested 
in establishing a church in Texas. His leaving Spring 
Creek in 1891 took out twenty-one members. A. G. Fill- 
more was among the number. The Manvel church, Texas, 
was the result of this emigration. This was in 1892. From 
this time the membership steadily dwindled until only 
Bro. N. Peter Nelson and wife were left. They were still 
living at Rosalia, Kansas, at the time of Bro. Nelson's 
death (June 21, 1920). There were not enough members 
left to disorganize. The parsonage had been sold by 
Brethren Wassam and Leaman to Bro. N. Peter Nelson. 

At the time of organization of the church J. J. Wassam 
was elected deacon. At the age of 52 he was called to the 
ministry in Missouri. He is now living at a hale old age at 
Ordway, Colo. Two brethren have been called to the min- 
istry in this congregation. They are A. G. Fillmore (Sep- 
tember 16, 1890), and N. P. Nelson. The elders in 
charge have been D. W. Stouder, Geo. W. Studebaker, and 
John Wise. The larger number of the persons who united 
with this congregation had no previous knowledge of the 
Brethren or their faith. 


Originally the members living in the city of Topeka 
were considered a part of the Ozawkie congregation. On 
November 25, 1893, however, they were organized into 
a separate body, Elders J. S. Mohler, Daniel Vaniman, A. 
W. Vaniman, and J. A. Root being present. 

The church is located at 242 Michigan Avenue, in 
Oakland, a suburb of Topeka. The building was origin- 
ally intended to serve as a public hall and was known as 
Saywell Hall. It was used for political meetings, dances, 
entertainments, etc. For some time prior to the organ- 
ization of the church, the local members had made ar- 
rangements with ministers from adjoining churches and 


those attending the state university at Lawrence to come 
over to preach every two weeks. But since other gather- 
ings sometimes conflicted with the appointments, in 1892, 
one of the Brethren bought the building and restricted its 
use to religious services only, donating its use to the To- 
peka church. In 1905, the congregation bought the 

The charter members were W. H. Kintz, Mary Kintz, 
Jacob Kintz, G. T. Boss, Lizzie Brindle, W. Z. Michael, 
E. Ridenour, J. B. McKee, George Brindle, I. D. Halde- 
man, John W. Taylor, Cassie Taylor, T. W. Hill, Reuben 
Michael, Lydia Michael, Lillie Newberry, Elizabeth Mc- 
Kee, Lizzie Root, and Abbie J. Hill. These members 
were mostly from Pennsylvania and Indiana and were 
attracted to the locality by the prospects of employment 
and of entering business. 

Two ministers have been called by this congregation : 
Ellis Hooper (October 12, 1901) and Ira W. Weidler 
(December 27, 1913). The following elders have had 
charge of the church: J. S. Mohler (1893-1895), J. A. 
Root (1896-1908), C. J. Hooper (1908-1911), I. H. Crist 
(1912-1914), George Manon (1915), I. L. Hoover (1916- 
1919), and H. L. Brammell (1919 — ) . Among the 
evangelists who have in later years served the church are 
J. E. Young, S. E. Thompson, C. A. Miller, and O. H. Aus- 

The present membership (1920) is approximately 
forty, of whom about fifteen are isolated. The general 
unpopularity of the Brethren church in a city and the 
more or less drifting character of the membership have 
proved handicaps to the progress of the work of the con- 


In the early sixties Susan Reed, a member of the 
Church of the Brethren, located near the Line school 
house, about eight miles northwest of the town of Madi- 
son. She was then the only member in the community and 
belonged to the Cottonwood church, which at that time in- 
cluded all of Lyon and Greenwood counties. 

Soon after Sister Reed's locating in Kansas, Elder 
Jacob Buck began preaching at the Line school house, 


and for several years held appointments at that place. 
Thru his efforts there were several additions to the 
church. During this time Bro. Kessler from Indiana lo- 
cated at Emporia, later moving near the Line school 
house. Elder Buck then secured S. C. Stump to hold a 
revival. He preached for three weeks and among those 
who united with the church were D. W. Stouder and wife, 
J. M. Butler and wife, and a Bro. Fiske. Another revival, 
held by John Forney, resulted in several more accessions. 
Several members had by this time located near Madison, 
among them being Elder Buck, who, however, returned 
to Emporia after a ten years' residence at Madison. 

Due to the wide extent of the territory of the Cotton- 
wood church it was finally decided to divide that con- 
gregation. Accordingly, at a council held in January, 
1882, with Elders J. E. Hilkey and Christian Forney 
present, the division was made. The line between the 
mother congregation and the newly created congregation, 
named Verdigris, was located three miles south of Em- 
poria. There were approximately twenty-seven members 
in the Verdigris church, which was organized by Elders 
S. Hodgden, George Myers, and Jesse Studebaker, the 
last named being elected elder in charge. 

In the spring of 1885, Elder M. T. Baer preached for 
two weeks in the town of Madison, with no results, but 
immediately followed this effort by another revival at 
School House 88, where nearly twenty were added to the 
church. By this time the church numbered about seventy- 
five members. Bro. Studebaker was succeeded in the 
oversight by Washington Wyland and James E. Hilkey. 

During the eldership of D. W. Stouder, who succeeded 
Bro. Hilkey, two churches were organized out of Verdi- 
gris territory. They were Antioch (Nov. 17, 1892), near 
Gridley, and Spring Creek (June, 1888), near Eureka. 
Both of these churches were disorganized after a time 
and their membership absorbed by the Verdigris church. 

The following brethren have been called to the min- 
istry in the Verdigris church : W. H. Leaman (September 
11, 1886), J. A. Stouder (October 10, 1889), S. E. Lantz 
(March 6, 1897), George Garst (September 29, 1888), 
Ralph W. Quakenbush (Jan. 5, 1909), and Leonard Bir- 


kin (June 15, 1919) . N. N. Garst, who came to the Verdi- 
gris church from the Peace Valley church, Mo., was here 
reinstated in the ministry. The following ordinations 
have taken place: D. W. Stouder (November 15, 1887), 
S. E. Lantz (December, 1902), W. H. Leaman (Decem- 
ber, 1902), S. L. Elrod (October, 1913). R. W. Quaken- 
bush (October, 1913), J. S. Sherfy (April 4, 1912), and 
D. H. Heckman (June 15, 1919). The following deacons 
have been elected by the congregation : J. S. Leaman, J. 
W. Trissel, W. R. Benedict, G. E. Shirky, Frank Elrod, J. 
L. Quakenbush, and Leonard Birkin. 

About the year 1899, Elder George S. Wine moved 
into the Verdigris church from Missouri. Soon there- 
after he was chosen elder in charge, succeeding A. 
L. Pearsall, and remained in that capacity for four or 
five years. At his resignation, S- E. Lantz took the over- 
sight, which he still retains (1920). 

Preceding the year 1899, services were held in the 
Number 88 school house. In the fall of 1899, the present 
church was built. In 1909, a building was erected in 
Madison for the accommodation of the members there 
resident. At present there are regular services at both 
the country and the town churches. West Creek and Sun- 
nyside are missions of the congregation and enjoy regu- 
lar services. Including the members in these missions, 
the Verdigris congregation has a total membership of 
about eighty. (1920). 


It was in the year 1898, that the ministers of the North 
Solomon church at Portis began holding services at the 
Diamond school house three miles west and one mile 
north of the town of Covert. The ministers holding these 
services were J. C. Wagner, Lewis Lerew, and I. S. Lerew. 
During 1898 and 1899, services were held every four 
weeks. Three were baptized. In November, 1900, the 
District Mission Board of Northwestern Kansas sent El- 
der A. C. Daggett of Belleville, then district evangelist, 
into the neighborhood to hold meetings in the Victor 
school house, five miles southwest of Covert. Six were 
baptized. In November, 1901, Brother Daggett returned 
and conducted a revival resulting in seven accessions. 


Things took on an aggressive form when in March, 
1902, Elder Daggett and his estimable family moved to 
the locality of Covert. Writing in the Gospel Messenger 
(February 3, 1912), Brother J. H. B. Williams says that 
it was largely thru the insistence of "Uncle Jim" Brad- 
shaw that Brother Daggett came. "Uncle Jim" had for- 
merly "been a man of the world for all it was worth." In 
the spring of 1912, the church building was erected, all 
the labor on the building having been donated. The 
church was dedicated on June 14, 1902, by Elder I. S. Le- 

On October 25, 1902, the Victor church was organ- 
ized, Elders John Hollinger and W. B. Himes assisting in 
the work of organization. The charter members were A. 
C. Daggett, E. M. Daggett, Mary E. Daggett, L. M. Hoff, 
Sarah Hoff, C. S. Hoff, Ella Hoff, G. B. Hoff, Cassie Hoff, 
L. J. Porter, Mina Porter, F. A. Wagner, Tenna Wagner, 
J. M. Bradshaw, Mary Bradshaw, H. F. Bradshaw, Agnes 
Bradshaw, Elva Bradshaw, James Lilly, Martha Lilly, El- 
sie Lilly, Mary Riley, S. A. Rowzer, Pearl Rowzer, Shelby 
Wright, Mary Wright, Appie Wright, James Collyer, 
Amanda Collyer, Sarah Collyer, George Axtel, Lottie Ax- 
tel, J. D. Bradshaw, Esther Bradshaw, G. T. Bradshaw, 
and Florence Bradshaw. The majority of those who were 
not baptized at Victor prior to the organization, had 
moved in from the churches of Burr Oak, Belleville, and 
North Solomon. 

The church has experienced remarkable growth. 
From the time of organization until the winter of 1915, 
one hundred thirty persons had been baptized. In 1915, 
however, the membership was ninety-nine. At present 
(1919) it is one hundred. Along with many other 
churches, Victor has lost many members by emigration. 
Much of this loss has been in favor of other Kansas con- 
gregations. Victor has been made, not by church exten- 
sion but by evangelization. Of the membership of eighty 
in 1912, the large majority came from homes whose an- 
cestry knew nothing of the Brethren. 

Few churches have had such opportunity for social 
service. Located twelve miles from the nearest town, 
Victor has had much of the rougher element to contend 


with, and in a wonderful way it has raised the moral and 
religious tone of the whole community. To Brother Dag- 
gett belongs a very large part of the credit for this change. 
Although farming on a large scale and engaging in busi- 
ness, he has been a power for the Kingdom of God in the 
community. Many of the rougher class "who came to 
scoff, remained to pray" and now constitute the burden 
bearers of the local work. 

Five ministers have been called by the Victor church : 
C. S. Hoff (October 25, 1902), W. C. Winder (March 7, 
1908) , Elmer Thompson (March 7, 1908) , Christian L. Ik- 
enberry (February 23, 1918), and John W. Daggett (Feb- 
ruary 23, 1918) . From 1913 to 1915, Elder G. W. Burgin 
was a member of the Victor congregation. 

The membership is aggressive in all good causes. 
Elder Daggett was a member of the District Mission Board 
from 1904 until April, 1919. For a number of years he 
was chairman of the Board. He is a man of affairs. For 
some years he was a member of the Advisory Board of 
three which visited McPherson College. From 1912 to 
1914, he was a member of the Board of Trustees of the 
college. His daughters, Mrs. Mary Brandt (now of La- 
Verne, Calif.) and Mrs. Martha Horning (now a mission- 
ary in China), are graduates of the academy and normal 
courses of the college respectively. His sons, John W. 
and Rufus are students in the college. Other members of 
the congregation have attended school at Bethany Bible 
School or McPherson College. 


Mrs. Peter N. Wingert, formerly of Mount Morris, 
Illinois, but now living (1920) at Wellsville, Kansas, en- 
joys the distinction of having been the first member of the 
Church of the Brethren in Miami county, or at least, the 
first to be baptized in that county. It was in 1869, that her 
husband went up into Douglas county to request Eld. Pe- 
ter Brubaker to come down to baptize Mrs. Wingert. 
Services then began to be held in the Wade Branch school 
house, the Douglas county ministers doing the preaching. 
When Elder George Myers of Juniata county, Pennsyl- 
vania, came to Miami county in 1871, there were the fol- 
lowing members: Brother and Sister Wingert, John H. 


Ayres, Sister Ayres, and Mrs. Ayres' mother, Harriet 

Whether Elder Myers was the first Brethren minister 
to locate in Miami county is a matter of uncertainty. If 
he was not, that distinction belongs to Hendricks Clark, 
who came from West Virginia in 1870 and did some early 
preaching at Wade Branch. Elder Myers was a brother 
of Elder Grabill Myers, well-known in his day, and him- 
self became one of the most widely known preachers in 

The Wade Branch congregation was organized in 
1877 with a membership of forty, according to Howard 
Miller's "Record of the Faithful. ,, Elder John Bowers had 
charge of the services, which took place in the barn of 
John H. Ayres. Of the charter members the following 
names are recalled: George Myers and wife, John H. 
Ayres and wife, Harriet Smalley, Bro. Slaughter and wife, 
Samuel Hollinger and wife, Jacob Hollinger, P. N. Wing- 
ert and wife, and D. H. Longanecker and wife. These 
members were largely from Pennsylvania, although a few 
came from Indiana and Missouri. Brethren D. B. Gibson 
and Addison Harper were present at the organization. 
The territory of Wade Branch formerly belonged to 
Washington Creek. 

Church services were held for some time at the North 
Windy school house, three-quarters of a mile west of the 
present church. Elder Myers did most of the preaching. 
Finally, in the spring of 1892, an old church building, 
known as the Brumbaugh house, belonging to the Pleas- 
ant Grove congregation in Douglas county, was bought, 
wrecked, and rebuilt by the Wade Branch church. It is 
located five and one-half miles west and seven miles north 
of Paola and two south and five and one-half east of 
Wellsville. On August 27, 1881, Johnson county was de- 
tached and formed the Olathe church. In 1892, the Ot- 
tawa church in Franklin county was made a separate con- 

The following have been elected to the ministry at 
Wade Branch: D. H. Longanecker (1878), Gottfred Gi- 
gax (August 7, 1897), George M. Lauver (October 20, 
1894), and A. E. Myers (May 7, 1904). Brother Lauver 


was for some years associated with McPherson College, 
where, in 1897, he finished the Normal Department, and 
with Bethany Bible School, of which he was for a time 
field representative. He was ordained at Wade Branch. 
John E. Crist was ordained here on December 27, 1902. 
George Myers and William Cherry were elders when they 
came to the community. Cherry was the only member 
lost by the Old Order defection. John H. Ayres was 
elected to the ministry in the Pleasant Grove congrega- 
tion on April 2, 1870, but was never active in his office. 
Elder Myers died on August 25, 1897, and is buried at 
Wade Branch. 

Some of the elders who have had the oversight of the 
congregation were George Myers, I. H. Crist, H. F. Crist, 
J. E. Crist, R. F. McCune, P. E. Whitmer, E. D. Steward, 
A. D. Crist, and G. M. Throne. On November 8, 1919, 
W. B. Devillbiss became elder in charge. The practice 
has been to hold revival efforts annually. Among the 
evangelists who have served the church are George 
Manon, Geo. E. Wise, J. E. Crist, H. F. Crist, A. D. Crist, 

F. E. McCune, C. M. Yearout, C. A. Miller, A. Hutchison, 

G. R. Eller, G. G. Canfield, and W. A. Kinzie. 

Wade Branch has made no noteworthy growth. Per- 
haps there have never been more than sixty members on 
the roll. In 1916, there were thirty-eight. A few iso- 
lated members are found twenty miles from Paola, in the 
southeastern part of Miami county. The present minis- 
ters are F. P. Sanger, late of Fayetteville, West Virginia, 
C. C. Crist, and Walter W. Mason, who, under the direc- 
tion of the District Mission Board, is serving as pastor. 


Until February 1, 1887, the members located in Barton 
county were considered as belonging to the Eden Valley 
congregation. Michael Moorhead of Great Bend used 
to preach for them once a month. On the date mentioned, 
however, the Brethren met at school house No. 93 
for the purpose of organizing a separate congregation. 
Elders M. M. Eshelman, John Hollinger, and Abraham 
Shepler were present to assist. The boundary lines as 
fixed at the organization were truly wonderful in extent. 
Few congregations at so late a date could equal Walnut 


Valley in territory. The congregation included nearly 
all of the counties of Greeley, Scott, Lane, Ness, Rush, 
Barton, Finney, and Hodgman, as well as small parts 
of Edwards, Ford, and Hamilton. The members, eighty 
in number, were scattered in nearly all of the counties 
named. Thirty members lived in the southwest corner 
of Barton county. 

Among the names of the charter members are noted 
the following: Bower, Sterling, Bush, Allenbaugh, Mar- 
tin, Klepinger, Clapper, Miller, Keener, Carr, Weimert, 
Long, and Keller. These members came chiefly from 
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, and Pennsylvania. 

D. B. Martin, a minister in the second degree, moved 
in from the Salem church in the fall of 1886. The second 
minister was Lincoln Allenbaugh, of Ohio. Practically 
all of the Walnut Valley Brethren were farmers, but 
Brother Allenbaugh was a school teacher. For two years 
he taught in a district near by and made the work of the 
church a matter of prime importance. He was especially 
interested in the location of the church and cemetery. It 
chanced that his body was the first to be interred in the 
Walnut Valley cemetery. 

Elder George W. Elliot, of Ellinwood, was chosen first 
elder in charge. He is thus described by one who knew 
him: "He was rather different in his personal appear- 
ance from any other preacher of the church of that period 
of whom we knew. He did not dress 'in the order' but 
wore a green gingham neck cloth put on like a necktie 
of the Civil War times. In every way his manners and 
appearance were those of a gentleman of the old school. 
His black broadcloth clothing was in contrast to most of 
the pioneer dress." On the day of organization (Febru- 
ary 1, 1887) Lincoln Allenbaugh was advanced to the 
second degree of the ministry and Michael Keller was 
called to the ministry. D. Bower, D. H. Sterling, and John 
Clapper were elected trustees. 

At a love feast held at the home of John Clapper in 
the spring of 1887, John Long, Augustus Bush, and David 
Klepinger were elected deacons. Enoch Eby of Darlow 
was elected elder in charge. The summer of 1887 was 
one of great prosperity for Walnut Valley although the 


church suffered a great loss (September 10) in the death 
of Bro. Allenbaugh. On October 15, 1887, John Clapper 
was elected to the ministry. On April 28, 1888, Chas. S. 
McNutt was elected to the ministry and M. Keller was 
advanced to the second degree. 

A good church building was erected in 1889. It is 
located three miles southwest of Heizer. Eld. Enoch Eby 
preached the dedicatory sermon on May 12, 1889. M. 
Keller, P. Brubaker, and D. Bower were the building com- 
mittee. It was remodeled in 1914, Eld. J. J. Yoder 
preaching the rededication sermon on Nov. 15 of that 
year. The valuation of the building is $2,400. 

The erection of the church gave opportunity for con- 
tinued growth and prosperity. On Oct. 26, 1891, at a 
lovefeast, M. Keller was ordained to the eldership and 
given charge of the congregation. Elders D. Vaniman 
and E. Eby presided at the ordination. John Clapper was 
advanced to the second degree of the ministry on the same 
day. On June 18, 1892, A. L. Boyd was called to the min- 
istry, soon thereafter leading out in the local work. When 
he left the community John* R. Pitzer, who had been 
elected here, took up the work. Both brethren Boyd 
and Pitzer became identified in a prominent way with 
the church work in Oklahoma. On July 14, 1894, J. J. 
Filbrun was elected to the ministry and Oct. 8, 1896, was 
advanced in that office. It was during this period of pros- 
perity and growth that the membership was increased to 
about seventy-five. 

Unrest crept in, however, and better prospects else- 
where lured the members away. There ensued a general 
scattering. Some went back to Pennsylvania, some to Can- 
ada, some to Washington, and some to California, until 
at present (1918) there are but fifteen or twenty scat- 
tered members living within the bounds of the once pros- 
perous congregation. 

M. Keller was elder until 1897. He was succeeded 
in turn by A. M. Dickey, A. F. Miller, Jonathan Brubaker, 
and G. W. Weddle. At present (1918) M. Keller is again 
elder in charge. Several ministers have lived in the con- 
gregation during these years. In 1900, E. S. Fox moved 
in but stayed only a few years. When D. B. Martin moved 


south of Larned, Walnut Valley was left without a min- 
ister. Bro. H. M. Barwick, formerly of McPherson, lived 
here a few months (April to September, 1906). G. W. 
Burgin resided in the congregation two years and while 
here (Dec. 3, 1907) was ordained to the eldership. At 
present (1918) the only preaching services held is a ser- 
mon once a month furnished by the ministers of the Lar- 
ned church. Bro. Keller and others have made repeated 
and insistent requests that the District Mission Board 
locate a man to care for the church, but as yet this has 
not been done. The community is partly settled by 
Lutherans and though some of them are willing to aid in 
the support of a minister of the Brethren persuasion and 
usually turn out to hear preaching, there is small pros- 
pect of our doctrine making any headway among them. 
A very few, however, have united with the Brethren. 
Some of them are good Sunday School workers. 

One of the pioneers of Walnut Valley was D. Bower. 
In 1892, he moved to McPherson to educate his children. 
Five of his six children married schoolmates with whom 
they became acquainted in college. A. L. Boyd and J. 
R. Pitzer are two of his sons-in-law. Bro. Bower now 
lives at Flora, Ind. 


This church was, until June 18, 1898, a part of the 
Newton church. In fact, it was the original Newton 
church, but for the sake of convenience was separated 
from Newton on the date indicated, Elders A. M. Dickey 
and M. Keller having the work of organization in hand. 
The charter members were: Daniel Shomber and wife 
Marie, Jacob W. Miller and wife Leah, W. A. Will and 
wife Catherine and Henry Showalter and wife. Most of 
these were from Ohio and they had come to Kansas in 
search of homes and also to cast their lot where there 
was not the open saloon. 

No church building was erected but services were 
held in a school house two and one-half miles north and 
one and one-half miles west of the town of Walton. The 
membership, although reinforced by immigration from 
Virginia, Ohio, and Illinois, never grew strong. Revivals 
were at different times held by such evangelists as A. 


Hutchison, Jacob Witmore, C. H. Brown, C. S. Holsinger, 
G. M. Lauver, J. E. Crist, D. R. Holsinger, John Wise, W. 
O. Beckner, Jacob Funk and William Mohler. 

Elders who served as overseers of the church were 
A. M. Dickey, S. M. Brown, William Mohler and J. A. 
Thomas. On June 18, 1898, Andrew G. Miller was ad- 
vanced to the second degree of the ministry by the Walton 
congregation. From the fall of 1908 to April 7, 1910, 
William Mohler was pastor of the church. However, 
Walton gave no promise of development and on January 
26, 1912, a committee from the District Conference dis- 
organized the congregation, assigning its members to the 
Newton church. 


The Washington church is located in the east part of 
the town of Washington, the county seat of the county 
with the same name. It is the extreme western congrega- 
tion of the district of Northeastern Kansas. 

In 1880, eleven members of the Church of the Brethren 
came to this locality from the Little Swatara church, Berks 
county, Pennsylvania. With these as charter members of 
the congregation there were also Willis White and wife, 
of Missouri. In the fall of 1880, Elder Allen Boyer of 
Lena, Illinois, was traveling thru Kansas and chanced to 
stop at Washington, where he found the few members. 
In the fall of 1881, Elder Boyer again came into the com- 
munity, and with the assistance of Elder John Forney, he 
organized (September 24) the members into a congrega- 
tion. This took place at the home of John Gauby, three 
miles southwest of town. At the organization Jacob 
Merkey and John Gauby were elected deacons. The 
charter members were Samuel Merkey and wife, Jacob 
Merkey, Jeremiah Yiengst and wife, John Gauby and wife, 
Cyrus Gauby and wife, Leah S. Merkey, John M. Gauby, 
and Willis White and wife. Of these but three are now 
(1921) living; namely, Leah Merkey Gauby, Cyrus 
Gauby, and Willis White. 

The first preaching was done in the German language, 
but a call was made early for an English preacher. Ser- 
vices were held every two weeks in private homes and at 
various school houses. Among the school houses used 


were those of Albia, Stoltzer, Reiter, Lindsley, Rock, 
Hawkeye, Ash Creek, and Frog Pond. At different 
times there was preaching at the town of Greenleaf. 
Barns were used for communion services. There were 
always large crowds. The church was built in 1895, 
Elder J. S. Mohler preaching the dedicatory sermon on 
May 25. 

In the fall of 1882, John Forney became elder in 
charge. On August 26 or 27, 1882, Jacob Merkey was 
elected minister in German and on the same day A. F. 
Deeter was ordained. William Phillippi was elected minis- 
ter in the German language in the fall of 1884. Septem- 
ber 15, 1894, M. D. Gauby was elected to the ministry; 
on May 25, 1895, John M. Gauby was elected to that of- 
fice; and on October 4, 1913, Samuel M. Gauby was 
elected. In 1890, Eli Rule, who had preached in both 
English and German, was relieved of the ministerial of- 
fice. The following deacons have been elected: Jacob 
Merkey, John Gauby, John M. Gauby, Willis White, 
Henry Talhelm, Jacob S. Merkey, Abraham S. Merkey, 
O. F. Zappe, Samuel Gauby, R. D. Gould, and Harvey 

The following have served as elders in charge : John 
Forney, J. S. Mohler, Humphrey Talhelm, William Davis, 
W. H. H. Sawyer, and R. A. Yoder. Bro. Yoder is elder 
in charge at present. All of the above were non-residents 
except Elder Talhelm. 

The membership has never been large. In 1899, there 
were forty-four members, — apparently the highest num- 
ber ever reached. At present (1919) there are thirty- 
four. Emigration has been great, especially to Missouri, 
California, Colorado, Nebraska, and Iowa. About a 
dozen members have gone to Portis, Kansas. On May 7, 
1885, A- F. Deeter left for California. Outwardly, at least, 
there is very little in the history of this congregation 
which has attracted the attention of the church in general. 


The genesis of this church has been described in chap- 
ter one of this book. Washington Creek was the second 
congregation of the Brethren to be organized in the state 
of Kansas. The Civil War threw a veil of silence over its 


history for a time, although we have numerous facts at 
hand relative to its noble work of relief in 1860 and for 
a year or more thereafter. Daniel Vancil, a minister, 
was disowned for justifying self-defense against rebel sol- 
diers. During the war (December 22, 1863) Jacob Ul- 
rich, the prime mover of the work of the local church, 
passed to his reward. The author has in his possession 
a scrap of paper which states that on May 28, 1864, John 
C. Metsker was elected a deacon. In the spring of 1865, 
James E. Hilkey, a minister, moved in from Hudson, Illi- 
nois. In 1868, he was ordained by Elder John Bowers. 

In 1877, there were one hundred seventy-five mem- 
bers. The first church building owned by the congrega- 
tion was bought on March 19, 1864. It was used for wor- 
ship until November 23, 1869, when it was sold. It was 
located about one mile northeast of Lone Star and is now 
used for a barn. The first church to be built by the Breth- 
ren in Kansas was erected by the Washington Creek con- 
gregation in 1877. It is the present Pleasant Grove 
building. For the second time, Pleasant Grove, the east- 
ern part of the congregation, was cut off on April 2, 1881. 
Pleasant Grove kept the church building and chose James 
E. Hilkey as elder in charge. The western part of the 
former congregation retained the name Washington 
Creek and Peter Brubaker became elder in charge. The 
Weybright school house was used for the services, a pro- 
ject for building a stone church having been abandoned. 
On September 13, 1885, the present Washington Creek 
church house was dedicated by Elder M. M. Eshelman. 
It is located five miles southwest of Lone Star. The first 
love feast in the new church was held on October 31, 

For many years Washington Creek was one of the 
strongest congregations in the state. It included not only 
the members in southwestern Douglas but also mem- 
bers in Franklin, Miami, and Osage counties. Out of it 
have been formed the congregations of Wade Branch 
(1878), Pleasant Grove (1881), Eight Mile (1880), Ap- 
panoose (1881), Overbrook (1907), and Lone Star 
(1920). On March 13, 1886, the western line of Osage 


county was designated as the dividing line between the 
Washington Creek and Abilene churches. 

The ministerial record of this congregation is rather 
long. The following have been elected to the ministry: 
Daniel Studebaker (1858), Daniel Vancil (1860 ? ), 
Peter Brubaker (1860), John Studebaker (1866), John 
Stutsman, William Michael (September, 1881), William 
Weybright (March 12, 1882), I. L. Hoover (April 9, 
1889), William Stutsman (March 10, 1900), George A. 
Fishburn (March 10, 1900), William A. Kinzie (March 
12, 1904), Charles M. Ward (September 9, 1905), John 
Oxley (October 25, 1906), Henry E. Ward (September 
7, 1907), Calvin A. Ward (September 7, 1907), and Louis 
H. Griffith (December 11, 1915). The following have 
been ordained to the eldership: James E. Hilkey (1868), 
Peter Brubaker (1874), William Weybright (July 13, 
1895), I. L. Hoover (July 13, 1895), George A. Fishburn 
(October 25, 1906), William A. Kinzie (December 12, 
1908), and Calvin A. Ward (October 19, 1913). Elders 
in charge have been Abraham Rothrock, John Bowers, 
Peter Brubaker, J. E. Hilkey, I. L. Hoover, R. F. McCune, 
W. A. Kinzie, and S. J. Heckman. 

In two good revivals held by O. H. Austin and wife 
in the summers of 1915 and 1916, a large number of mem- 
bers were added, many of them young in years. A revival 
in a tent at Lone Star, held by C. S. Garber, in the summer 
of 1917, stimulated interest in that village, with the re- 
sult that thru the effort of some of the Washington Creek 
members an up-to-date and well equipped church was 
dedicated in Lone Star on July 14, 1918. Dr. D. W. 
Kurtz preached the dedicatory sermon. In 1920, Lone 
Star became a separate congregation. 

Washington Creek has not held its own as far as mem- 
bership is concerned. The organization of so many 
churches out of its territory and the all too evident emi- 
gration spirit has drained the church of much of its en- 
ergy and talent. In 1919, the membership was reported 
as being one hundred twenty. 


The White Rock church was at first a part of the 
Burr Oak congregation, but became a separate church, 


according to Howard Miller's "Record of the Faithful, " 
in 1875. There is reason for believing, however, that it 
was on June 9, 1877. Elders S. C. Stump and Allen Ives 
presided at the division of the territory, in which White 
Rock was made out of the eastern half of the Burr Oak 
church. Soon after the day of organization of White 
Rock, Lawrence Garman was elected to the ministry and 
Wayne Grubb and Henry Abbott were chosen deacons. 
(June, 1877). 

The work at White Rock was largely the result of the 
labors of James L. Switzer. A sod school house in Dis- 
trict Seventy-eight, about twenty miles east of Burr Oak, 
was used for services in these early days. On October 
13, 1877, at a love feast held at Brother Switzer's home, 
A. W. Austin was baptized. Brother Austin later became 
one of the best known elders in Oklahoma. He passed 
away at Cushing, Oklahoma, a few years ago (August 
22, 1917). 

The following names are remembered of those pioneer 
members, all of whom were baptized either in the Repub- 
lican River or White Rock Creek: Abbott, Agnes, Branch, 
Butler, Connelly, Floyd, Fowler, Garman, Gill, Grubb, 
Hollingsworth, Hunter, McCormick, Miller, Myers, 
Nitcher, Sprague, Samples, Story, Stouffer, Walters, and 
Williams. In the earlier days the growth was more 
largely by baptism than by letter. 

There are parts of the history of White Rock that are 
obscure, but it would seem that the church began to de- 
cline in a few years after its organization and for that 
reason was absorbed by the Belleville church, and that 
it was reorganized on October 23, 1883, by Elders M. M. 
Eshelman and Lemuel Hillery. A statement found some- 
where indicates that it was thus reorganized with a nu- 
cleus of five members. About half of the former mem- 
bership identified themselves with the Progressive move- 

The following have been called to the ministry by the 
W'hite Rock church: Lawrence Garman (June, 1877), 
John Andrews, S. L. Myers (November 15, 1884), and 
Earl R. Myers (May 25, 1911). M. M. Eshelman was 
ordained to the eldership on September 16, 1884, S. L. 


Myers on December 27, 1888, and J. W. Jarboe on April 
15, 1899. Elders in charge have been James L. Switzer, 
Lemuel Hillery, M. M. Eshelman, E. D. Steward, and S. 
L. Myers. 

The church was built in the town of Lovewell in 1896. 
The membership in 1920 was given as about thirty. 


The Wichita church was organized in 1879. Jacob 
Buck, John Forney and Samuel Rairigh were present at 
the organization. At first its territory embraced the 
whole of Sedgwick and Butler counties and a part of 
Greenwood county. The eastern boundary is rather dif- 
ficult to locate at this time. The center of activities was 
at Kechi. The charter members were N. Highbarger and 
wife, William Funk and family, Thomas Bederbenner and 
wife, Christena Imbler, Andrew Ikenberry and wife, and 
S. M. Brown. Most of them were from Pennsylvania and 
Maryland. William Funk was a minister. On the day of 
the organization S. M. Brown was chosen to the ministry. 
Samuel Rairigh was chosen elder in charge. In 1884 a 
church house was erected at Kechi and from then on reg- 
ular services were held at that place. In March, 1886, 
Butler county was separated from the Wichita church, 
the county line between Butler and Sedgwick counties 
being taken for the line of division. 

In 1890, the members who lived in Wichita asked for 
the privilege of holding services in that city. Their re- 
quest was granted with the understanding that they 
themselves would bear the expense and would procure 
the preacher. This was agreed to and William Johnson 
of Conway Springs was secured to serve them. In 1891, 
Elder Johnson moved to Wichita and entered upon his 

For two or three years the services in Wichita were 
held in different places, but finally a house was purchased 
on Fifteenth Street, out towards Fairmount College. This 
then became the center of activities of the Wichita church 
and remained so for some years. Meantime the work 
at Kechi was absorbed with the work at Wichita and all 
became known as the Wichita church. 

In the fall of 1905, the District Mission Board located 


Jacob Funk, a young man of vigor of Conway Springs, at 
Wichita and established a mission in the city, not so far 
out as the church on Fifteenth street. At first an old store 
room at 617 E. Murdock was used. Later, as the work 
prospered, an unused Baptist church at the corner of 
Tenth and Emporia streets was rented and used for some 
time. In the winter of 1907 and 1908 as a result of a re- 
vival held by William Lampin there was an ingathering 
at the mission of some thirty converts. Fourteen were 
men and they were of a substantial character. With such 
splendid success and with promise of a great future, work 
was immediately started towards securing a new church 
building to house the mission. A permanent home was a 
necessity. The splendid building at the corner of Elev- 
enth and Saint Francis streets, now known as the East 
Side Wichita church, was the result. The building was 
dedicated on October 11, 1908, by Elder I. Bennett Trout. 

For some time, the work was kept up at the old loca- 
tion out on Fifteenth street, but with the successful work 
at the new church not so far away, many of the members 
preferred to unite their strength with the Mission, and in 
time the work at the old church was discontinued entirely. 
The building was later sold and moved away. 

The work at the Mission continued to prosper. Sis- 
ter Ora Ellenberger joined the forces of active workers 
and for about one year gave her entire attention to the 
cause. Later Grace Schul came to the work and is still 
connected with it in an active way, though not under the 
direction of the Mission Board. 

It was in this time of prosperity that the Mission con- 
ceived the idea of being useful in another location. Ac- 
cordingly, they furnished the forces for starting another 
mission on the west side of the city. This West Side Mis- 
sion likewise grew and prospered. Bro. Funk came in 
touch with a great-hearted brother, David George, of 
Franklin Grove, Illinois, who very generously assisted 
them in erecting a much needed building on the west side, 
the present West Side Wichita church building. 

Bro. Funk was a hard worker. By the fall of 1911, 
he broke in health and was compelled to give up the work 
for a while. N. E. Baker was secured to take his place 
and he served until 1913. In that year L. H. Root was 


secured in his place. Brother Root, however, staid but 
a short time. 

It was the policy of the Board from the first to bring 
the East side Mission up to where it would be a self sup- 
porting church just as soon as possible. It was about this 
time that the church became able to care for itself entirely 
and was released from the care of the Board. The help 
of the Board could then be turned to the assistance of the 
West Side Mission. 

From October 1, 1911, to May 1, 1914, M. S. Frantz 
had charge on the West Side. On September 1, 1914, 
Elder J. Edwin Jones, who had been serving the mission 
at Larned City, took up the work at the West Side and 
labored faithfully in it until his death (November 6, 
1916). He was succeeded by Homer E. Blough, a much 
younger man, who had just graduated from Mount Mor- 
ris College, who labored in the cause for two years. J. 
R. Wine then took charge of the work, and he in turn was 
succeeded by W. T. Luckett, a student in McPherson Col- 
lege, who is in charge, under the direction of the District 
Mission Board, up to the present time. The membership 
grew, meantime, rapidly, and finally the Mission was 
organized as a separate church, known as the West Side 
Wichita Church. 

The work of the pioneers was thus prospered. Much 
credit is due the early workers, William Johnson, Samuel 
Brown and men like them who gave unstintingly of time 
and means, serving without financial help from the 
church while at the same time earning a living for their 
families and educating their children. What was at first 
only scattered pioneer work has grown into two good 
well organized churches, the East Side having one hun- 
dred forty-two members (1919) and the West Side one 
hundred thirty (1921). No one rejoices more over their 
success than those old pioneers. 

Pastors who have served the East Side are M. S. 
Frantz, N. E. Baker, C. A. Eshelman and Ray S. Wagoner. 

The following brethren have served as elders in 
charge of the Wichita churches : Samuel Rairigh, Elder 
Riggle, John Wise, Enoch Eby, Lemuel Hillery, William 
Johnson, C. H. Brown, S. M. Brown, Levi D. Mohler, J. 


J. Yoder, N. E. Baker, Jacob Funk, M. S. Frantz, J. Ed- 
win Jones, M. J. Mishler, and E. F. Sherfy. 

As far as is known, the following list of ministers 
elected is practically complete: S. M. Brown (1879), 
George Widder, S. Funk (1882), T. B. Young (November 
13, 1886), J. R. Wine (May 5, 1906). S. M. Brown was 
ordained to the eldership on August 13, 1898. The list 
of deacons elected includes Israel Brown, Peter Long, 
Wilbur Jacques, Adam Seese, N. Highbarger, C. Hoyt, 
Frank Urbin, C. T. Vaness, John S. Johnson, Edgar Har- 
ris, Earl Garst, and Harlow Brown. 


In all probability the second congregation of the Breth- 
ren to be organized in Kansas was the one in Wolf River 
township in Doniphan county. There were members in 
Brown and Doniphan counties as early as 1858, for it was 
in that year that W. H. H. Sawyer located not far from 
the present site of Morrill, in Brown county. Jacob H. 
Root, of Indiana, early settled on Squaw Creek in the 
same county. 

It was .at a love feast held at the home of Jacob H. 
Root in September, 1859, that the Wolf River church was 
organized. Elders Abraham Rothrock, of Lawrence, and 
John Bowers, late of Montgomery county, Ohio, having 
the work of organization in charge. At this meeting W. 
H. H. Sawyer and Jacob H. Root were elected to the 
deacon's office. Abraham Rothrock was elected elder in 
charge, which office he held until the opening of the Civil 
War, although he never visited Wolf River after the day 
of organization. William Gish succeeded him in the 

From 1859 until the war there were twenty members, 
made up of the families of John Root, Jacob H. Root, 
David Root, John Root, jr., Dan Marker, John Royer, Joel 
Root, Jacob Root, Matthew Sawyer, W. H. H. Sawyer. 
Most of these members were from the Union City church, 
Indiana. When the militia was organized during the 
Civil War all men over twenty one were required to report 
for drill. This affected some of the Brethren, among 
them W. H. H. Sawyer, who was arrested and fined. The 
turmoil of war caused several of the Brethren to move 


away. The deacons then kept the church alive until the 
organization of the Ozawkie church in 1862, when that 
congregation included in its territory the whole of Wolf 
River. Henceforth, until the organization of the Pony 
Creek church in the early seventies Ozawkie was sponsor 
for Wolf River. 

There was a revival of interest in Wolf River in 1867. 
In September of that year Bro. Sawyer was elected to the 
ministry and a period of prosperity followed. The mem- 
bers were scattered, however, and services had to be ar- 
ranged to suit the convenience of each group or family. 
No material aid was extended to the minister ; there was 
fear that it "might spoil him." There were a few mem- 
bers near Whiting. On March 6, 1870, Sue V. Crum- 
packer wrote to the Gospel Visitor: "We had four meet- 
ings last fall here by our brethren; first by J. S. Flory, 
second by brother D. Kimmel from Illinois, and the last 
two by brother H. Sawyer of Brown Co., Kan. — Our 
meetings are the first ever held in this neighborhood, as 
it has been only two years since the first house was built. 
It is now well settled, and we have six dwellings within 
one mile of us. A town started one and a half miles from 
us where there is now a depot, store, post office, etc. The 
name of the town is Whiting." 

Under Bro. Sawyer's ministrations the work grew. 
There were about 40 members and three ministers when 
the division of 1881 came. On June 11 and 12 of that 
year a love feast was held at which Noah F. Brubaker and 
George Stork were elected ministers. But dissatisfaction 
crept in as a result of Progressivism and the membership 
declined. Thereupon the Progressives, under W. J. H. 
Bauman, formerly a Conservative minister, organized 
with a nucleus of four members. A reaction favorable 
to the Conservatives set in, however, but left without a 
church building they were compelled to use school houses 
as places of worship. In 1887 they were barred from the 
Sugar Hill school house largely thru Catholic influence. 
They then built a church, twenty-eight by forty-two feet, 
locating it thirty miles west of St. Joseph, three north- 
west of Purcell and five north of Huron. It was dedi- 
cated on July 7, 1889, by Elder J. S. Mohler. Andrew 


Hutchison held a series of meetings and secured seven- 
teen converts. 

Since Bro. Sawyer was alone in the ministry the Dis- 
trict Conference of 1888 appointed J. S. Mohler and Wil- 
liam Davis to help keep up the regular appointments. De- 
cline in membership led the church to ask the District 
Conference of 1899 to disorganize Wolf River, but the 
Conference decided to keep up at least monthly appoint- 
ments, appointing P. E. Whitmer elder. But in 1900 the 
church was finally disorganized and the few remaining 
members were assigned to the Morrill congregation. 

Elders who have served the Wolf River congregation 
are : Abraham Rothrock, William Gish, Jonathan Lichty, 
W. H. H. Sawyer, C. J. Hooper, Archie Van Dyke, and P. 
E. Whitmer. Bro. Sawyer was ordained while a member 
of this congregation. (1881). 



CHARLES Edward Arnold, oldest son of Elder Daniel 
B. and Mary E. Ludwick Arnold, was born near Bur- 
lington, West Virginia, on May 13, 1866. Charles made 
the best of the common schools and at the age of seven- 
teen was teaching in a district school. At nineteen he 
entered Bridgewater College, where he remained for five 
years, three of which he spent as principal of the com- 
mercial department. At Bridgewater he united with the 
Church of the Brethren. Leaving the college, he spent 
part of a year in Ohio Normal University, where he took 
the A. B. degree in 1890. Upon graduation he accepted 
a position as teacher of mathematics in Botetourt Normal, 
near Daleville, Virginia. In 1893 he received the A. M. 
degree from Ohio Northern University. 

In 1893, Professor Arnold came to McPherson College 
as head of the department of mathematics. As a teacher 
he was held in the highest esteem and admiration. In 
1896, he succeeded S. Z. Sharp as President of McPherson 
College and served until his death. Those were dark days 
for the college, but with a few faithful colaborers he 
brought the institution safely thru difficulties which 
would have discouraged any one else. He possessed that 
tact, firmness, gentleness, and patience, so much needed 
in a college president. Intense application and attention 
to every duty were among his characteristics. Even amid 
the exacting duties of his college presidency he found 
time to do advanced work leading to the Ph. D. degree. 
The completion of this work was prevented only by his 
untimely death. 

In 1894 the McPherson church called Bro. Arnold 
to the ministry. On May 21, 1898, he was ordained. He 
was a writer for the Gospel Messenger, was District Sun- 
day School Secretary for Southwestern Kansas and South- 



eastern Colorado, and a member of the Sunday School 
Advisory Board of the Church of the Brethren. He wrote 
for the Brethren's Advanced Quarterly and was offered 
the position of editor of all the church's Sunday School 
literature. He was a member of the Executive Commit- 
tee of the Kansas State Sunday School Association. His 
book "Journeys of Jesus" was published by the Sunday 
School Times Publishing Company of Philadelphia. 

On September 22, 1891, Bro. Arnold chose as his com- 
panion Miss Ella Beahm. There were two children, Ruth 
and Russell. The latter passed away just a few weeks 
before his father. 

Cancer cut short a career that was truly remarkable 
and sublime. On May 31, 1902, after weeks of intense 
but patient suffering, the end came and Bro. Arnold was 
no more. In a lot in the cemetery at McPherson there 
are three graves. They are those of Charles Edward Ar- 
nold, Russell Arnold, and S. B. Fahnestock. 


Hazel Quear Austin, daughter of Jacob E. and Fannie 
Darrow Quear, was born in New Lancaster, Indiana, on 
November 27, 1894. She is the older of two children, the 
younger dying in infancy. At the age of thirteen she united 
with the Christian church, at Tipton, Indiana. 

Mrs. Austin's home was in Indiana until she was six- 
teen years of age, when, with her parents, she moved to 
Fruita, Colorado. Here she entered high school, having as 
one of her class-mates in the class of 1911, Oliver H. Austin, 
with whom she was united in marriage on March 28, 1912. 

In the fall of 1912, the Austins entered McPherson 
College, where they pursued regular college work. Brother 
Austin's graduation from the college in 1915 prevented Mrs. 
Austin from finishing her course during this first stay in 
McPherson. In the fall of 1913, at McPherson, Brother 
Austin had the privilege of leading his wife into the bap- 
tismal pool, when she united with the Church of the Breth- 
ren. For three years after their leaving the college they 
were traveling about doing service in the evangelistic field. 
Returning in 1918, they both re-entered college work and 
both took degrees with the class of 1920 — Sister Austin 


being graduated from the college with the degree Bachelor 
of Arts, and Brother Austin with the divinity degree. 

Since the spring of 1920, they have been holding ser- 
vices in various parts of the Brotherhood, meeting with 
the greatest of success at every point. Sister Austin con- 
tributes largely to the success of the meetings by her power 
in song and in her personal work. 


Oliver Henry Austin, son of Elder A. W. and Malinda 
Barnhizer Austin, was born near Belleville, in Republic 
county, Kansas, on March 28, 1886. He is the youngest of 
a family of five sons and five daughters. With his parents 
he moved to Cook county, Texas, in 1888, where they re- 
sided until 1895, when they moved to Cushing, Oklahoma. 

Oliver made his decision for Christ at the age of eleven 
and was baptized into the Church of the Brethren in the 
Big Creek congregation, Oklahoma, Elder Samuel Edge- 
comb administering the rite in the Cimmaron river. On 
December 21, 1905, this congregation called him to the 
Gospel ministry. In 1907, he went to Fruita, Colorado, 
where he entered high school, graduating in 1911. One of 
the members of his class was Miss Hazel Quear, who later 
became his wife (March 28, 1912). In May, 1911, he was 
advanced to the second degree of the ministry by the Fruita 

With his wife, Brother Austin entered McPherson Col- 
lege, where he had already spent part of a year, in the fall 
of 1912, remaining in school until he finished the college 
course with the class of 1915. On April 3, 1916, the Mc- 
Pherson congregation ordained him to the eldership. After 
securing the A.B. degree from McPherson, Brother Austin, 
accompanied by his wife, spent three years in the evange- 
listic field under the direction of his alma mater. During 
this time they served churches in Kansas, Nebraska, Okla- 
homa, Missouri, Louisiana, Colorado, and California. 

In the fall of 1918, the Austins re-entered McPherson 
College, and after two years of study Brother Austin secured 
the degree of Bachelor of Divinity. Since the spring of 
1920, they have been engaged in the work of evangelism, 
with headquarters at McPherson. Up to 1921, they had 
conducted a total of fifty-five revival meetings, and had had 


the pleasure of seeing seven hundred and fifty-three persons 
accept the Savior. 


Moses Tousaint Baer was born in Stark county, Ohio, 
on March 2, 1829. At the age of fourteen he left home and 
became master of his own destiny. On June 12, 1852, in 
Crawford county, Ohio, he was united in marriage with 
Elizabeth Zabst. In 1858, he moved to the state of Indiana. 
The next year he united with the Church of the Brethren. 
In 1861, he moved to Flowerfield, Michigan. While here, 
either in 1868 or 1869, he was elected to the ministry. His 
advancement and ordination occurred in due time, but the 
places and dates are not available. In 1878, he came to 
Kansas, locating at Mapleton, in Bourbon county. Imme- 
diately he became a leading figure in Kansas church work. 
He served on the Standing Committee of Annual Conference 
in 1877, 1880, 1883, 1893, 1894, and 1898. In 1887, he was 
a member of the committee appointed by Conference to 
locate a college in Kansas. McPherson College was the 
result of the labors of this committee. In 1889, Elder Baer 
moved to Fristoe, Missouri, where he spent his last days. 
He passed away on November 28, 1904. 

There were nine children in the Baer family — four sons 
and five daughters — of whom six survived the father. 

Elder Baer is described as having been "a man of much 
more than ordinary mental ability, a good, clear thinker, 
and one who knew how to present his thoughts in a logical 
and forcible manner." He was the author of a work entitled 
"The Christian Sabbath Defended." 


William Oliver Beckner comes from parents of Penn- 
sylvania Dutch stock but is a native of Tennessee. Perry 
and Lucinda Bashor Backner were living within the bounds 
of the White Horn congregation in Hawkins county, Ten- 
nessee, when, on June 28, 1877, there came into their home 
a son whom they named William. 

It was a godly home. The mother, a first cousin of 
S. H. Bashor, in her own way taught the boy the rudiments 
of an education. This was made necessary because the 
schools of the community had been sadly demoralized by 
the ravages of the Civil War and had not yet recovered. 
Thus, although by the time he was twenty he had had but 


twenty-four months of the formal training of the schools, 
he nevertheless had the best foundation for an education, 
fashioned by maternal hands. 

In 1890, the Beckners moved to Nebraska, not far from 
Beatrice. W. O. then attended the village school at Filley. 
But the ambition for an education had already been kindled. 
While still living in Tennessee he had caught a vision from 
some literature which President J. G. Royer had sent Father 
Beckner, and which naturally directed his thoughts to 
Mount Morris College. Once in Nebraska, however, his 
yearning for Mount Morris was transferred to McPherson. 

A college education was inevitable, even though it was 
to take twelve years to get it. In September, 1897, he sent 
his sister, Emma, now the wife of Elder David Hamm, down 
to McPherson, he himself following as soon as corn husking 
was finished. There was at the disposal of these young 
people the sum of one hundred and fifty-four dollars for one 
year's schooling and it proved sufficient. 

W. 0. mixed considerable teaching with his college 
work. He taught four years in the public schools — at Moni- 
tor, Groveland, and Galva, all in McPherson county. He 
also had some experience as a singing school teacher in 
various churches. In the summer of 1898, he accompanied 
George E. Studebaker to help hold meetings among the 
isolated members in eastern Colorado. In 1904, he finished 
the Normal course at McPherson College, taking the degree 
Bachelor of Scientific Didactics. Continuing his school work 
he took the degree Bachelor of Arts in 1909. The college 
granted him the Master's degree in 1915. 

Throughout his college career Bro. Beckner was active 
in church work. His religious career began in the South 
Beatrice church, Nebraska, where, on January 11, 1896, he 
became a Christian. On December 4, 1897, the same church 
called him to the Gospel ministry. The Monitor church 
advanced him on September 28, 1900. After entering college 
he became interested especially in Sunday School work. 
From 1903 to 1906, he was secretary of the Sunday School 
Association of McPherson county, in which work he traveled 
over the whole county and effected better methods of organ- 
ization. In 1906, he became Sunday School secretary for 
the Brethren in the district of Southwestern Kansas and 
Southeastern Colorado. He started the practice of having 


more elaborate Sunday School and missionary programs in 
connection with District Conference. He taught the first 
class in Sunday School Pedagogy ever organized in McPher- 
son College. His work as district secretary marks the first 
systematic survey ever made in the district. In 1907, he 
started the Gospel team work at McPherson College. 

In January, 1909, the year of his graduation, he re- 
ceived an appointment to the educational work of the 
Philippine Islands. As a child he was gripped by reading 
the books of travel by D. L. Miller, and the desire to visit 
the Bible lands was the motive behind the Philippine ven- 
ture. He was in the islands almost six years and in this 
time enjoyed a series of promotions almost unparalleled in 
the service. He rose to the station of acting division super- 
intendent. His work attracted attention everywhere and 
his pen was kept busy writing for educational journals. 

On June 20, 1910, a romance of college days culminated 
when Bro. Beckner was united in marriage with Miss Silva 
I. Miller, of Inman, Kansas. The latter, upon her gradua- 
tion from McPherson College, in 1910, had also been honored 
with a teaching appointment in the Philippines. The wed- 
ding took place in Manila, at the home of a Methodist 
missionary. Mrs. Beckner is a sister of former President 
S. J. Miller of LaVerne College. 

The one great objective of the Philippine experience 
seemed about to be a reality when, in September, 1914, the 
Beckners left the islands for home. They were to go to 
China first, then to India, and then to the Holy Land. But 
the World War was just beginning. Their trip was reduced 
to a three months' visit in China, where they visited thir- 
teen missions besides those of the Brethren. They then took 
the Trans-Siberian railroad for western Europe, giving up a 
tour of India and Palestine for four weeks in Russia and 
five weeks' stay at the Brethren missions in Denmark and 

In July, 1915, Bro. Beckner was employed as field sec- 
retary for McPherson College. This position has compelled 
him to be on the road considerable of his time. On October 
8, 1916, he was ordained to the eldership by the McPher- 
son church. His chief joy is that whether he is talking 
school or preaching the Gospel he is in equal degree magni- 
fying his ministry. 



Harvey Leander Brammell is the fifth of eleven chil- 
dren born to Reuben Henry and Sarah Anne Brammel, 
pioneers who moved from Indiana to Ozawkie, Kansas, 
in 1862. He was born on October 4, 1871. His entire 
boyhood was spent on the farm and his education was 
derived from the common schools of Jefferson county. 
At the age of nineteen he left home and spent fifteen 
months in California. 

Returning to Ozawkie in 1891, he was the next year 
married to Miss Judith Jane Harnish and settled on a 
farm east of town. Six children have been born to this 
union : Guy H., Everett W., Cora E., Ira N. H., Paris Roy, 
and Iva Mae, all of whom have grown to maturity. Ev- 
erett, Ira, and Roy will complete the A. B. course in Mc- 
Pherson College in May, 1923. Iva finished the Academy 
in 1921. Guy has taught several years. 

At the age of sixteen, H. L. united with the Church of 
the Brethren at Ozawkie, A. Puderbaugh administering 
baptism. In 1892, he became a deacon and serving faith- 
fully in this office was called to the ministerial office in 
1894, Elder I. H. Crist delivering the charge. In 1898, he 
was advanced in office and in November, 1908, he was 
ordained to the eldership. He has held the oversight of 
the following congregations: Central Avenue (Kansas 
City), Lawrence, and Ozawkie. Bro. Brammell has serv- 
ed the church in several capacities. As an evangelist he 
has had good success. For five years he was secretary 
of the District Mission Board of Northeastern Kansas. 
At district conference he has at different times acted as 
Reading Clerk or Moderator. In 1912, he represented his 
district on the Standing Committee of Annual Conference. 

H. L. has traveled considerably in the last few years, 
having visited in seventeen states, chiefly in the west and 
northwest. His travels have been to him a liberal educa- 
tion. He is a man of wide interests and sympathies. The 
unfortunate, far and near, have always found in him and 
his good wife the comfort and aid they have needed. A 
splendid willingness to serve, and to serve unostenta- 
tiously, is preeminently a characteristic of Bro. Brammell, 
and this trait has been intensified as the years have come 
and gone. And he has a family which is a source of pride 


to the community and of inspiration to all who are privi- 
leged to know its members. 


Harvey Melvin Brubaker, oldest son of John Y. and 
Phebe Crist Brubaker, was born on November 23, 1882, one 
mile east of Olathe, Johnson county, Kansas. There were 
five other children. The parents were of sturdy Pennsyl- 
vania stock, the father having been born, however, near 
Roanoke, Virginia, and the mother in Ohio. They moved 
to Kansas in an early day and endured many of the hard- 
ships of frontier days. 

Harvey M. spent his earlier boyhood near Olathe and 
then the family moved to Gove county, Kansas, where they 
remained for a time. Later they moved to McPherson 
county, within the bounds of the Monitor congregation. 
Harvey was always religiously inclined and always enjoyed 
the services of the church and Sunday School. In December, 
1897, during a revival held by A. C. Wieand in the Monitor 
church, he gave his heart to God and was baptized by M. J. 
Mishler. In the spring of 1899, he finished the common 
school. The next winter he staid on the farm and "brushed 
up" in the district school, preparatory to entering McPher- 
son College the next winter. Upon entering the college he 
took the second and third quarters only, but later returned 
and was graduated from the Normal department with the 
class of 1906. Armed with a state certificate to teach, he 
expected to be in the school room for a while and then to 
"settle down" as a farmer. But on July 27, 1907, the Mon- 
itor church called him to the ministry, which office he ac- 
cepted and arranged for further preparation. At once he 
became active in the work and "took turns" with the other 
ministers. On December 27, 1909, he was advanced to the 
second degree of the ministry. He was ordained on March 
6, 1915, at Bloom, Kansas, by Elders A. F. Miller and G. W. 
Weddle. For two years — 1910 and 1911 — he served as Sun- 
day School secretary for Southwestern Kansas and South- 
eastern Colorado. 

A college romance culminated on January 1, 1912, when 
Bro. Brubaker took as his life companion Miss Pearl Myers, 
of Paola, Kansas. The young couple began housekeeping 
on the farm at Monitor. After two years spent in this com- 
munity, they moved to Bloom, Kansas, where they remained 
three years. Here Bro. Brubaker taught school, farmed, 


and preached. A daughter, whom they named Zelda, came 
to bless their home while at Bloom. A second daughter, 
Wanda, was born at Plattsburg, Missouri. 

The need of further preparation was imperative, how- 
ever, and selling the farm, H. M. again found himself a stu- 
dent in McPherson College. He received his A.B. degree 
with the class of 1917. For a time thereafter Bro. and 
Sister Brubaker were in the evangelistic field, representing 
McPherson College. Their efforts along this line were 
greatly blessed. A call from the Smith Fork church at 
Plattsburg, Missouri, was received and accepted and on 
March 1, 1918, they moved to Plattsburg, where they labored 
zealously and with results for the Kingdom. Bro. Brubaker 
represented Northern Missouri on the 1920 Standing Com- 
mittee at the Sedalia Conference. In the spring of 1921, 
Bro. Brubaker became pastor of the church at Boise Valley, 


Jacob Buck was born in the Warrior's Mark congre- 
gation, Blair county, Pa., April 26, 1826. He was the son 
of Abram and Mary Spanaugle Buck. Most of his early 
life was spent in Pennsylvania, where he was apprenticed 
to a wagon-maker. His education was limited to the com- 
mon schools, although by home study he acquired a good 
knowledge of the common branches. 

In 1848, he came to Illinois and for some time worked 
in a plow factory at Grand Detour. He had united with the 
Brethren in Pennsylvania and now became a member of 
the Pine Creek church. Here he was called to the ministry 
in 1858. A few years later he was also advanced to the 
second degree. 

On October 5, 1865, Brother Buck and family with 
others arrived in the vicinity of Emporia, having made the 
trip from Illinois in covered wagons. He bought 160 acres 
of prairie land nine miles southwest of Emporia and im- 
proved the land, working meantime at the carpenter's trade. 
He was located in the territory of the Cottonwood church, 
which congregation ordained him to the eldership in 1870, 
Elder George Barnhart officiating. His preaching tours took 
him to many points far and near. As an organizer of 
churches he had but few equals in Kansas. He went on 
horseback, often traveling at night. Many elders sought his 


Bro. Buck's first marriage was to Susan Funk, who 
lived but a short time. On February 22, 1851, he was united 
in marriage with Lydia Coffman in the West Branch congre- 
gation, near Mount Morris, 111. To this union were born 
twelve children, six of whom passed away in infancy. Three 
sons and three daughters lived to maturity. Five of these 
are still (1919) living — Darius, Enos, Nancy B. Marshburn, 
Fannie B. Quakenbush, and Andrew. One daughter, Alice, 
wife of J. M. Quakenbush, died December 29, 1904. 

Elder Buck passed away Jan. 20, 1895, near Olpe, Kan- 
sas, paralysis of the heart being the cause of his death. His 
wife survived him until Sept. 11, 1915, when she died at 
the home of her oldest son, Darius. 


Orville Orland Button was born on October 26, 1855, 
at Salem, Iowa. His early life was full of unusual events 
and experiences. When Orville was but five years of age 
his father enlisted in the army, leaving the mother the care 
of a family of four children. The war ended, the father re- 
turned but the home was soon saddened by the death of the 
mother. The latter was a member of the Seventh Day 
Advent church. 

At sixteen, Orville left home and managed his own 
affairs. In the spring of 1873, he went to Ivester, Iowa, 
where he found work with Bro. G. A. Moore. Here he stayed 
and worked during the summer and the five years follow- 
ing. In 1877, under the evangelistic preaching of Bro. 
William Bauman, Orville made the good confession and 
along with a number of other young people of the Ivestel 
neighborhood, was baptized. 

On December 11, 1878, Bro. Button was united in mar- 
riage with Sister Clara E. Strickler. They established a 
home and lived in the community for six or seven years, 
when they decided to move to Kansas. Going West, they 
settled on a farm in the northern part of Marion county, 
where they gave their attention to farming and stock rais- 
ing. They experienced the usual crop failures of the fron- 

Although there were a few members of the Brethren 
in the community, no organization was effected until Oc- 
tober 18, 1890, when the Ramona congregation was organ- 
ized. On this date, Bro. Button was elected to the office of 


deacon. He was much interested in Sunday School work 
and served very acceptably in many capacities in that phase 
of church work. In the fall of 1896 (September 5), he was 
elected to the ministry. On May 5, 1900, he was ordained. 

As a minister Bro. Button spent most of his time in 
the home church, but he was often called to assist in church 
work elsewhere. For many years he was a trustee of the 
Old Folks Home at Darlow, having been elected in 1905. In 
1913, he served on the Standing Committee of the Annual 
Conference. He was always active, although rather re- 
served in his manner. He was always a student and appre- 
ciated highly the Bible instruction given in the Bible Insti- 
tutes at McPherson College. 

Bro. Button's sudden death was a shock to his family, 
to the church, and to the whole community. On January 4, 
1916, he passed away as the result of an attack of neuralgia 
of the heart, which followed a case of la grippe. He left a 
family consisting of a wife and four children. Sister Button 
was not in good health at the time of Bro. Button's death 
and on October 19, 1916, she followed him to the tomb. All 
of the children with their wives and husbands are members 
of the Church of the Brethren. 


John Addison Clement was born on May 19, 1875, at 
North Georgetown, Ohio. He is the son of Elder John A. 
and Emaline Bowman Clement. His Grandfather Clement 
was born in France and once served as one of the secretaries 
of Napoleon Bonaparte. His Grandmother Clement was 
born in Switzerland. 

The early education of John A. was secured in the 
public schools of Ohio. At the age of eleven he united with 
the Church of the Brethren. His special line of interest in 
the church has always been the Sunday School. His prepar- 
atory work was done in Damascus Academy, Ohio, and Ohio 
Normal University. His college work was done in Ohio 
Normal University, Mount Union College, McPherson Col- 
lege, the University of Kansas, and the University of Chi- 
cago. In 1902, he took his A. B. degree from McPherson 
College and in 1904, the A. M. In 1909, the University of 
Kansas conferred upon him the A. M. degree. He received 
his Ph.D. degree from the University of Chicago, magna 
cum laude, in 1911. 


Doctor Clement's professional career is well filled out. 
At the age of seventeen he began teaching in Columbiana 
county, Ohio. Since that time he has taught continuously 
with the exception of the years spent as a student in some 
college or university. He taught in the public schools of 
Ohio from 1891 to 1893 and from 1897 to 1899. From 1899 
to 1900 he was principal of the Smithville, Ohio, Normal 
School. Coming to McPherson, he served as professor of 
education and psychology (1903-1905) and (1906-1909). 
The school year, 1905-1906, he was research fellow in the 
University of Chicago. The summer of 1908 and the school 
year of 1909-1910 he was assistant professor of education 
in the University of Kansas. In 1910-1911, he was teaching 
fellow in the University of Chicago. In 1911, he became 
President of McPherson College, which position he filled 
for two years. Then he went to Northwestern University, 
where he was lecturer and assistant professor of educa- 
tion (1913-1916). The summer terms of 1916-1917 and 
1917-1918, he was professor of education in the University 
of Washington. In 1916, Dr. Clement became professor and 
head of the department of education of DePauw University, 
Greencastle, Indiana, where he remained until 1921 when 
he again became a member of the faculty of Northwestern 

Doctor Clement prepared, as his doctoral dissertation, 
a work entitled "The Standardization of the Kansas 
Schools." With five other men he made an educational 
survey of the State of Illinois under the auspices of the state 
teachers' association, the results of which were published 
in book form in a work called the "Illinois Survey," under 
the chapter heading of "The Student Population and Cor- 
related Problems in the High Schools." During the year 
1918, Doctor Clement made an extensive investigation of 
the Junior high school movement of Indiana. This was pub- 
lished by the state department of public instruction under 
the name of "The Principles and Practices of the Junior 
High School Movement in Indiana." 

On September 21, 1905, Doctor Clement chose as his 
wife Miss Clara Caroline Wheeler of Morganville, Kansas. 
Mrs. Clement has been a student of McPherson College, the 
University of Kansas, and the University of Chicago. She 
took her A.B. from McPherson College in 1907. There are 


three living children — Doris Wheeler, James Wheeler, and 
Howard Wheeler. 


Ephraim Cober was born at Berlin, Pennsylvania, on 
September 6, 1825. He grew to manhood in his native 
state. At the age of twenty-one he became a member of 
the Church of the Brethren. His marriage to Barbara 
Meyers occurred on September 9, 1849. On June 13, 1853, 
he was called to the ministry of the Word. 

In 1876, with his family, Brother Cober moved to Falls 
City, Nebraska. After living here a short time they moved 
to Brown county, Kansas, later removing to Sabetha, Ne- 
maha county, where he resided for forty-one years. While 
living in the East Brother Cober's principal occupation 
was that of milling, but after coming West he worked at 
the carpenter's trade. 

Brother Cober was the father of twelve children, four 
of whom grew to maturity, but at the time of his death, all 
of his children except one daughter had preceded the father 
to the Great Beyond. Brother Cober lived a life of true 
devotion to his family, having lived with his now aged com- 
panion for sixty-eight years, and during all these years he 
labored to maintain his family and at the same time served 
the church as a faithful minister of the Gospel. 

Brother Cober was one of the pioneer preachers of 
Kansas. In his younger years he was quite active in the 
ministry. He was firm in his convictions and earnestly 
contended for the faith, having had a number of debates 
with ministers of other persuasions, in which he vindi- 
cated the truth in a way that was a credit to the cause 
that he had espoused and to the church of which he was 
an exponent. He was kind and gentle and beloved by all 
who knew him. In his preaching he was original, having a 
good knowledge of the Bible. Although in his declining 
years he was not so active in the ministry, still he would 
preach occasionally. On the Sunday of the week in which 
he was ninety years of age he went with others six miles 
from his home and preached a sermon that would have 
been a credit to one in the prime of life. His was a life of 
true service and devotion. He died at his home in Sabetha, 
on Monday, June 11, 1917, during the sessions of the Annual 
Conference at Wichita. His illness was brief. Elder R. A. 


Yoder conducted the funeral services and the remains were 
laid to rest in the Sabetha cemetery. 


John F. Cline, son of Elder Samuel Cline, was born in 
Rockingham county, Virginia, on October 27, 1852. His 
mother was a Showalter. On October 26, 1873, John F. 
was united in marriage with Susannah Flory, who passed 
away on January 22, 1875, leaving one daughter. On Feb- 
ruary 3, 1876, he chose as his companion Sarah Garber, 
a native of Woodford county, Illinois, but at the time of her 
marriage living in Des Moines, Iowa. Three sons and seven 
daughters were born to this union. 

At the age of twenty-one, John F. united with the 
Church of the Brethren in the Mill Creek congregation, Vir- 
ginia. In the spring of 1874, he came to Iowa, removing, in 
1884, to Octavia, Nebraska. In September, 1884, the Oc- 
tavia church called him to the ministry. In the fall of 
1886, the prospect of a good claim in Kansas brought him 
to Sherman county, where he with his family endured the 
hardships incident to frontier life. The Fairview church 
was sustained largely thru his efforts. His ordination to 
the eldership occurred on July 4, 1894, in the Fairview 
church. Leaving Sherman county he lived somewhat over 
two years in Smith county, after which he was called by 
the mission board of Northwestern Kansas and Northeast- 
ern Colorado to take charge of the work in the Menlo church 
in Thomas county. Here he resided until his removal to 
McPherson, to which place he went in order to give his 
children the advantage of the college. 

Brother Cline's tragic death occurred on May 8, 1911, 
when a sand pit east of College Hill caved in, burying be- 
neath its weight the body of our brother and those of two 
other workmen. 


Daniel Albert Crist was born on December 15, 1866, 
near Virden, Macoupin county, Illinois. He is the youngest 
son of Elder John and Salome Crist. One younger brother 
died in infancy. There was a family of eight children. 
Three brothers are still (1921) living. 

At the age of five Daniel was left without a father, 
and when fourteen he moved with his mother and step- 
father to Olathe, Kansas. Here he lived until the age of 


twenty, when he went to Quinter, where he has since re- 
sided. In November, 1880, shortly before leaving Illinois, 
he was baptized into the Church of the Brethren and has 
ever since been a staunch defender of her principles. 

Bro. Crist was the first minister elected in the Quin- 
ter Church, his election occurring on April 17, 1894. In 
assuming the ministry he followed in the footsteps of his 
father, two grandfathers, and his great-grandfather Crist. 
Moreover, his three brothers and his two sons are minis- 
ters. He was advanced to the second degree of the minis- 
try on September 20, 1896. His ordination, along with that 
of T. Ezra George, occurred on October 16, 1903 — these 
being the first ordinations in the Quinter church. Since 
that date he has been elder in charge, although he had been 
foreman for two years before his ordination. 

On January 23, 1889, Bro. Crist was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Mary E. Roesch of Quinter. They imme- 
diately set up housekeeping on his homestead five miles 
south of Quinter and have made their home in the neigh- 
borhood ever since. During the winter ofl919-1920, they 
resided in La Verne, California. 

Bro. Crist has had an eventful ministry. Much of the 
sacrifice and discouragements of frontier life has been his. 
He has never received ministerial support. Since October, 
1909, he has been continuously a member of the Mission 
Board of Northwestern Kansas and Northeastern Colorado. 
For some time he has been President of the Board. Since 
October, 1908, he has been a member of the Child Rescue 
and Orphan Society. Of this he is at the present writing 
President. He served on the Standing Committee of the 
Annual Conference in the years 1906, 1909, 1911, 1914 and 

Elder Crist is the father of nine children — seven daugh- 
ters and two sons. As before stated, both sons are minis- 
ters of the Gospel, and the oldest daughter is preparing 
definitely for mission work. 


Isaac H. Crist was born near Springfield, Ohio, on 
October 24, 1852. On September 3, 1863, his parents, John 
and Salome Frantz Crist, moved near Virden, Illinois. On 
March 7, 1871, with eight others, Isaac united with the 
Pleasant Hill church. His marriage to Sarah Brubaker of 


Girard, Illinois, took place on December 31, 1874. To this 
union have been born seven children, of whom four are yet 
living. All of them were baptized into the Church of the 
Brethren except one who died in infancy. 

On February 25, 1879, the Crists moved from the 
Pleasant Hill church into the Clear Creek church, in Chris- 
tian county, 111., where Bro. Crist was called to the Gospel 
ministry (September 14, 1880) , Elder Abraham Lear, father 
of Elder John W. Lear, presiding at the installation. 

Leaving Illinois in March, 1881, the family located 
near Olathe, in Johnson county, Kansas. At that time the 
nearest church was that known as the Wade Branch con- 
gregation, thirty miles from the new home. Here Bro. and 
Sister Crist held membership until August, 1881, when the 
Olathe church was organized. It was then that I. H. was 
advanced to the second degree of the ministry. On Novem- 
ber 24, 1888, he was ordained to the eldership by Bishops 
Andrew Hutchison and S. S. Mohler. 

Bro. Crist soon became one of the most prominent and 
useful men in Northeastern Kansas. Much of the time he 
was engaged in evangelistic work — for two years as dis- 
trict evangelist. He became district clerk and was re-elect- 
ed to that office twenty times. In 1883, he was closely 
connected with the arrangements for the Bismarck Grove 
Conference. In 1887 and 1896, he was secretary of the com- 
mittee of arrangements for the two Conferences held at 
Ottawa. He has served on numerous committees sent 
by District or Annual Conference. 

In December, 1888, the General Mission Board request- 
ed Bro. Crist to investigate conditions in greater Kansas 
City, and if advisable, to open up the work for the Breth- 
ren in that metropolis. At that time there were but two 
members in the entire city. After a well-attended series 
of meetings a meeting place was secured and for two years 
Bro. Crist made monthly trips from Olathe, preaching 
thrice in Kansas City on each trip. He next doubled his 
trips and gave the people six sermons each month. In 
November, 1890, a second series of meetings was held. 

Meanwhile the mission board of Northeastern Kansas 
relieved the General Mission Board of the work at Kansas 
City. At the request of the former in September, 1898, 
Bro. Crist and family moved to Kansas City and hence- 


forth devoted all his time to the cause. In November, 1894, 
the First Church was organized with a membership of 
thirty-eight. For twenty-six years Bro. Crist continued 
with this work, with the exception of six months, being 
constantly assisted by his self-sacrificing wife. During 
these years 480 were received into fellowship by the rite 
of baptism, and three churches have been organized out of 
the members in the city. Each of these has a house of 
worship. Bro. Crist's summary of the work done shows 
that he preached 2120 sermons, preached 151 funerals, 
anointed 71 persons, married 304 couples, and that 356 
persons were lettered out during his stay in Kansas City. 

During his eldership Bro. Crist has had charge of the 
following congregations : Ottawa (five years) , Wade Branch 
(four years), East Maple Grove (fourteen years), Olathe 
(nine years), Central Avenue in Kansas City (twenty-one 
years), Kansas City Mission (four years), Kansas City, 
Mo. (two years), St. Joseph, Mo. (two years), Ozawkie 
(three years), Topeka (two years), Pleasant Grove (four 
years), Macoupin Creek, 111. (one year), and Sibley Mis- 
sion, Mo. (three years) . 

After a short sojourn in Illinois, Bro. Crist accepted 
the eldership and pastorship of the McLouth church, 
Kansas. This body of members formerly held member- 
ship in the Ozawkie congregation, but it was organized 
as a separate congregation. Bro. Crist served the Mc- 
Louth church until he moved to Florida (April, 1919) 

Elder Crist is one of four brothers who have been in- 
fluential in church work in Kansas. The other brothers are 
Elders D. A. Crist, John E. Crist and Henry F. Crist. 


Arthur Jerome Culler, son of John and Amanda 
Kurtz Culler, was born on March 14, 1883, near Hartville, 
Ohio. The parents moved to Freeburg, Ohio, in the 
spring of 1884, and here most of Arthur's boyhood days 
were spent. Attacked by many of the diseases prevalent 
in those days, he was an invalid until after fifteen years 
of age. His education was begun in the rural school. 

When twelve years old Arthur united with the Free- 
burg Church of the Brethren. At fifteen he entered the 
high school at X.ouisville, from which he was graduated in 
1901. He taught one year in the public schools of Stark 


county, Ohio. Later he took a normal course in Mount 
Union College and was also graduated from business col- 
lege at Canton, Ohio. For one year he was employed in a 
bank and also served as clerk in the offices of the Gospel 
Messenger and the Inglenook, at Elgin, Illinois. 

In the fall of 1904 he entered Juniata College, where 
he earned his entire expenses by serving as student teacher, 
tutor, and preacher. While at Juniata he was called to the 
ministry (June 27, 1907) and here he was advanced to the 
second degree of that office. He was student pastor of 
the church at Everett, Pa., for one year and served one 
summer as supply pastor of the church at Altoona. Dur- 
ing his college career he earned a wide reputation as a 
debater and was for three years captain of the unbeaten 
Juniata College team, leading the college to victory four 

After graduation he was offered a number of posi- 
tions in churches and schools, but accepted the pastorate 
of the Plum Creek church for the summer. In the fall he 
entered Crozer Seminary at Chester, Pa., and also took 
work toward his doctor's degree in the University of Penn- 
sylvania. During his stay of one year at Crozer and at the 
University the next summer, he was largely instrumental 
in establishing Bethany Mission in Philadelphia, where he 
preached most of the winter and baptized nearly thirty 

The following year (1909) Brother Culler entered 
Union Theological Seminary and Columbia University for 
advanced work. He also served the first year as assistant 
at the Brooklyn Mission, doing most of the preaching dur- 
ing the winter terms. In 1910, with a classmate, he toured 
England, France, Holland, Switzerland, Italy, and Germany, 
registering as a student in the summer semester at Leip- 
zig University, where he studied under the great psycholo- 
gist Wundt. He also took special work here under Gregory 
in New Testament manuscripts. In 1911, he was graduated 
with honors from Union Theological Seminary, with the 
degree of Bachelor of Divinity. 

On September 28, 1911, Brother Culler was united in 
marriage with Miss Mary S. Stover of Tyrone, Pa., and in 
two days after their wedding they were established in the 
parsonage of the Geiger Memorial Brethren Church, in 


Philadelphia, where they served in the pastorate for three 
years. Continuing his work in Columbia University he 
took the degree of Doctor of Philosophy in 1912. His 
dissertation was on habits and it has been widely circu- 
lated in all the university libraries of America, being much 
commented upon and even used as a research text in the 
University of Chicago and perhaps elsewhere. Doctor Cul- 
ler is a member of the American Psychological Association. 

Doctor Culler was very successful in the work of the 
Geiger Memorial church, doing his own evangelistic work 
and adding many to the church membership and building 
up a most efficient organization. In the spring of 1914, 
with his wife, Doctor Culler made an extended trip thru 
Europe, Palestine, Turkey, and Egypt. 

Immediately upon returning from their trip abroad the 
Cullers came to McPherson, where they entered upon the 
pastorate of the First Church of the Brethren, and where 
Doctor Culler became a member of the faculty of McPher- 
son College. He held both positions continuously since 
that time, until his resignation in the spring of 1921. On 
November 16, 1914, Doctor Culler was ordained to the elder- 
ship. In 1917, he was made Dean of the Bible School of the 
college. In 1919, at the request of the committee on recon- 
struction of the Church of the Brethren, Doctor Culler took 
up work in Armenia, where he did heroic work for several 
months, returning to McPherson on January 26, 1920. 

Doctor Culler was regarded as one of the ablest pastors 
in the state of Kansas. He is a remarkably versatile man. 
Every progressive movement in the city or county found 
in him an ardent supporter and advocate. Especially was 
he in demand as a lecturer and Bible institute conductor. 
Since 1917, he has been a member of the General Temper- 
ance and Purity Committee of the church. He was also a 
member of the committee appointed by Conference to re- 
vise the church manual. For the last several years he has 
been one of the editorial writers in the Brethren Teachers' 

Doctor and Mrs. Culler are the parents of two sons, 
Delbert, born in 1915, and Dwight, born in 1917. 


Albion Curtis Daggett, son of Albion and Sarah Hillery 
Daggett, was born in Lee county, Illinois, on November 10, 


1865. Thirteen years later the family moved to Kansas, 
where he has spent most of his time since. 

On July 4, 1881, A. C. Daggett became a member of 
the Church of the Brethren in the Belleville church, bap- 
tism being administered by his uncle, Lemuel Hillery. On 
December 30, 1886, the Belleville church called him to the 
ministry, on October 1, 1892, advanced him, and in June, 
1899, ordained him. 

On December 20, 1885, Brother Daggett was united in 
marriage with Elizabeth M. Kinzie, daughter of Caleb and 
Susie Peters Kinzie. To this union have been born two 
daughters and two sons. Martha, the second daughter, is 
now the wife of Dr. D. L. Horning and a missionary to 
China. Mary is the wife of Professor H. A. Brandt, of La 
Verne, California. John is a minister and a student in 
McPherson College. Rufus is also a student in McPherson. 

For years Brother Daggett divided his time between 
preaching and farming until increasing business interests 
led him to move to the town of Covert, in 1917. One year 
(1895-1896) he was pastor of the Denver church, Colorado. 
In 1899, he began two years of service as district evangel- 
ist and in 1900, was district Sunday School Secretary. As 
district evangelist Brother Daggett held what turned out 
to be a very significant series of meetings near Covert, 
Kansas. Five were baptized at these meetings. However, 
Elder Daggett did not leave these new members to them- 
selves, but soon purchased a farm in this frontier commun- 
ity. While improving the farm he held a second series of 
meetings and seven more persons were baptized. In 
1902, the Daggett family moved to the farm near Covert. 

Elder Daggett was a wide-awake farmer and was al- 
ways interested in improved methods, stock and machinery. 
He helped organize the Natoma Central Telephone Com- 
pany in 1904, and was the president of this concern for 
several years. He was president of the Covert State Bank 
from its organization in 1917 until 1920. His interest in 
education is evinced by the facts that for thirteen years 
he was a member of the district school board, was for four 
years president of the board of the Covert Rural High 
School, and was for a number of years a member of the 
board of trustees of McPherson College. 

All of these activities have not been allowed to crowd 


out a deep interest in the work of the church and the general 
religious life of the community. Elder Daggett was for 
many years the elder of the Victor church. Three times 
he was president of the Osborne County Sunday School 
Association. From 1917 to 1919, he was president of the 
district ministerial board. From 1904 to 1919, he was a 
member of the district mission board. He served on the 
standing committee of conference in 1904, 1910, and 1912. 

Elder Daggett has always served his church and com- 
munity with devotion. He has won the respect of friends 
and neighbors alike, as is indicated by the fact that he has 
been called to all parts of Osborne county to officiate at 
weddings and funerals. 

A few years ago Elder Daggett became interested in 
the oil business and his extensive holdings in that line re- 
sulted in his taking up his residence at Independence, Kan- 
sas, where he at present (1921) lives. 


John Wilby Deeter was born near Leeton, Missouri, on 
March 25, 1886. He is the youngest son of John M. and 
Rachel Swinger Deeter, who had three sons and one daugh- 
ter. John lived with his parents on the farm in Missouri 
until their removal to North Dakota in the spring of 1897. 

His education began in the district schools of Mis- 
souri. After going to North Dakota he continued his edu- 
cation for one year in the rural school. Thereafter, his 
progress in school work was hindered considerably by the 
fact that his help was needed on the farm. From the age 
of twelve on he spent only a few months of each year in 
school, so that he did not complete the eighth grade until 
seventeen years old. For some time he was a student in the 
high school at Gettysburg, Ohio, returning to North Da- 
kota, however, to work on a farm. Soon thereafter his 
father bought another farm and he felt obligated to help 
pay for it. His desire for an education, however, did not 
wane and for a few winters he did correspondence work with 
the International Correspondence School of Scranton, Pa., 
finishing brief courses in mathematics, mechanics, and 
mechanical drawing. 

In the spring of 1905, John united with the Church 
of the Brethren in the Surrey church. This was the begin- 
ning of a new chapter in his life, for in ten months from 


that time the same congregation laid new responsibility 
upon him by calling him to the ministry. He accepted the 
call upon the condition that he be permitted to continue his 
education. In the fall of 1906 he enrolled in the Bible School 
of McPherson College. Here he continued work, with some 
little interruption, until his graduation from the college 
course in 1913, when he secured the Bachelor of Arts de- 
gree. His expenses were met by canvassing, threshing, 
teaching, preaching, and traveling in the field for the col- 

In August, 1913, Brother Deeter was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Effel N. Stump, a graduate from the Normal 
department of McPherson College. During the two years 
following graduation the young couple taught in the public 
schools of Bloom, Kansas. While there, Brother Deeter took 
his turn in preaching in the Brethren church. In the win- 
ter of 1913-1914, they attended Bible Institute at the col- 
lege and while in attendance received encouragement from 
President Kurtz to secure better educational preparation for 
service in the church. 

Accordingly, in the fall of 1915, Brother Deeter, with 
his wife and son, Wendell Ferman (born on June 25, 1915), 
went to New Haven, Connecticut, where he enrolled in Yale 
University, which he attended for three years, preaching in 
two Congregational churches in order to pay expenses. He 
was graduated from the School of Religion of the University 
in the spring of 1918 with the degree Bachelor of Divinity. 
His thesis, "The Comparative Trend of Islam and Chris- 
tianity," the first of its kind, was bound for use in the Day 
Mission Library at Yale. 

In 1918, Brother Deeter accepted a position with the 
McPherson College Extension Department, traveling a- 
mong the churches, conducting Sunday School Conven- 
tions and Bible Institutes. In the winter of 1918-1919, the 
General Sunday School Board employed him for some sur- 
vey work in the Southland. He was recalled from this 
work to teach in the Bible School of McPherson College, 
which position he still (1921) fills. He has served for 
some time as Regional Director of the Forward Movement 
of the Church of the Brethren. 



The name DeHaven is French. A family by that name 
made its advent in America when a certain member came 
with General Lafayette to help fight for the American cause 
in the Revolutionary War. Jonas DeHaven was born near 
Norristown, Pennsylvania, in the year 1813. He was either 
a first or second cousin of the late Elder George D. Zollers 
of Illinois. His parents died when he was quite young and 
he was adopted into the home of a Brother James Sell. Here 
he learned the trade of a cabinet maker. His parents were 
of the Lutheran faith and Jonas, being gifted with a musical 
voice, became choir leader in a Lutheran church in Phila- 
delphia. He later united with the Church of the Brethren 
at Norristown, Pennsylvania. 

Bro. DeHaven was united in marriage with Caroline 
Felty on October 17, 1843. To this union were born three 
sons and five daughters, six of whom reached maturity. In 
1863, the family moved to the Cherry Grove church in 
Illinois. During Bro. DeHaven's one year stay in this 
church he was elected to the ministry. He next moved into 
the bounds of the Lost Nation church, Iowa, residing there 
five years. 

Bro. DeHaven and family came overland to Kansas in 
1869, and settled near Abilene. He was one of the first 
Brethren ministers in this part of the state. He immedi- 
ately became active in church work and the Abilene church 
was organized in 1869. Poor health, however, prevented 
his being as active as he would have liked. The church 
wished to .advance him to the eldership but he declined, 
owing to the condition of his health. His was a long fight 
against tuberculosis, to which he finally succumbed on April 
18, 1873. 

Sister DeHaven survived until June 12, 1897. She 
spent her declining years with her son-in-law, Bro. S. A. 
Sutter of Jennings, Louisiana. She was an orphan girl, 
born in mid-ocean while her parents were coming from 
Leipzig, Germany. It chanced that her foster-parents, Bro. 
and Sister Harley, were members of the Brethren church, 
and thus she made that body the church of her choice. Her 
life was one of good deeds and true helpfulness to those 
about her. 



Enoch Eby, fifth child of Jacob and Susannah Myers 
Eby, was born in Juniata county, Pennsylvania, on Novem- 
ber 15, 1828. His parents were devout Christians but the 
environment of the community was not the best. With but 
a scant education he became a teacher and alternated school 
teaching with farming for several years. 

At the age of seventeen, in 1845, Enoch accepted Christ 
in baptism. In 1851, in the Aughwick congregation, Penn- 
sylvania, where he had become a Christian, he was called 
to the ministry. On November 19, 1847, he took for his 
wife Hettie, daughter of Joseph Howe. She became the 
mother of three sons and five daughters. Her death oc- 
curred on January 28, 1861. Bro. Eby's second wife was 
Anna Gilfillen, whom he married on March 10, 1864, and 
who lived until June 20, 1906. 

In 1855, Bro. Eby moved to the Waddams Grove church 
in Stephenson county, Illinois. Here he was advanced 
in the ministry, and in 1864, ordained to the eldership. His 
real usefulness to the church now began. In 1877, with 
Daniel Fry, Bro. Eby went to Europe to organize the Church 
of the Brethren in Denmark. In 1884, he became Chairman 
of the newly organized General Mission Board. He served 
one year and then retired until 1893-1899. 

Bro. Eby's activities for the church were many and 
varied. In the districts in which he lived and at Annual 
Conference he was a natural leader. Eighteen times he 
served on the Standing Committee of the Annual Confer- 
ence—in the years 1873, 1874, 1875, 1876, 1877, 1878, 1879, 
1880, 1881, 1883, 1884, 1887, 1888, 1889, 1890, 1894, 1895, 
and 1899. Fifteen times he was either Moderator or Clerk 
of the Conference. He is declared to have been the best 
Moderator obtainable in his day. As a minister he was 
widely and favorably known. "His power lay in exhortation 
and appeals to the heart and emotions, rather than to the 
reason, and he never failed to carry his audience with him. 
He was emotional, kind-hearted, courteous, genial, and put 
soul into his work." 

The location of the Old Folks' Home at Darlow,Kan., 
was largely the result of the influence of Bro. Eby, who was 
a member of the locating committee. He spent a 
few of his declining years (1887-1901) in the Darlow 


community. Then he moved back to the old home at 
Lena, in the Waddams Grove congregation, Illinois, 
where he passed away on April 29, 1910. He lies buried 
in the Chelsea cemetery within the Waddams Grove con- 

Three of Bro. Eby's sons— J. G., D. B., and L. H.— are 
elders in the Church of the Brethren. A grandson, Enoch 
H., a son of J. G., is a missionary to India. 


Samuel Edgecomb was born in Allen county, Ohio, 
August 18, 1849. He is the son of Robert and Elsie Edge- 
comb. Robert Edgecomb was a minister in the Church of 
the Brethren for many years. He was a native of New 
York, moved to Illinois, thence to Southeastern Kansas, 
where he did much preaching. He once took a stand with 
the Old Orders but returned to the Conservatives. 

Jan. 11, 1872, Samuel Edgecomb was united in mar- 
riage with Maria Huff at Cerro Gordo, 111. The same year 
both husband and wife were converted and united with the 
Brethren. Baptism took place near La Place, 111., in the 
Okaw congregation. 

In 1875, the Edgecombs came to Crawford county, 
locating near Monmouth. They werepioneer Brethren. The 
nearest church was twenty miles away. In 1878, however, 
the Osage church was organized and Bro. Edgecomb was 
called to the ministry on August 15 of the same year. In 
1882 he moved to Cherokee county, a few miles south of 
Monmouth, where he helped organize the Cherokee county 
church. On September 17, 1885, he was ordained elder by 
this congregation, Elders Jesse Studebaker and Martin 
Neher officiating. For four years he was district solicitor 
of Southeastern Kansas. In 1893, he represented his dis- 
trict on the Standing Committee. From 1882 until he left 
the state he did considerable evangelistic work. 

In 1896, Elder Edgecomb moved to the Big Creek 
church at Cushing, Okla., where he resided until 1911, when 
he located at Fresno, Calif. While living in Kansas, he at 
different times had charge of the following congregations: 
Cherokee, New Hope, Altamont, Paint Creek and Fort Scott. 
In 1898, 1902 and 1907 he represented Oklahoma on the 
Standing Committee. 

When at his best Elder Edgecomb was considered espe- 


daily strong as a speaker on doctrinal subjects. For the 
past thirty years, however, he has been almost a constant 
sufferer from facial neuralgia, which fact has prevented 
him from a more active ministerial career for the past 
fifteen years. 

Bro. and Sister Edgecomb are the parents of ten chil- 
dren, two of whom died in infancy. Those living are: 
Charles, of Selma, Calif. ; George, of Reedley, Calif. ; Alba, 
of McPherson, Kans. ; James, of Delhi, Okla. ; Rosa Crook- 
shank, of Waukena, Calif. ; Hattie Hargrove, of Eva, Okla. ; 
Daniel, of Raisin, Calif., and Samuel, of Fresno, Calif. 
George and Charles are both experienced teachers, the 
former having been for three terms county superintendent 
of McPherson county, Kansas. 


William Lewis Eikenberry, son of Elder William and 
Susan Berkley Eikenberry, was born on July 12, 1871, on a 
farm four miles south of Waterloo, Iowa. The Eikenberrys 
were originally of Virginia stock and the Berkleys were re- 
lated to the Beeghley family so well known to the Brother- 

W. L. received his early education in the country school 
and in an academy at Waterloo. In 1887, through the per- 
suasion of President J. G. Royer, his parents sent him to 
Mount Morris College. In 1889, he was graduated from 
the academy in the scientific course. His schoolmates in- 
cluded such well known persons as T. T. Myers, J. E. Miller, 
W. B. Stover, Salome Stoner, Ed. Markey, I. N. Brubaker, 
Jonathan Brubaker, E. J. Zern, J. Z. Gilbert, Mrs. E. B. 
Hoff, and N. R. Baker. After spending a year on the farm 
he returned to Mount Morris in 1890, completing the first 
two years of college work. The graduating class of 1892 
consisted of J. E. Miller, 0. P. Hoover, Tobias Diekhoff, and 
W. L. Eikenberry. Entering the University of Michigan, 
W. L. took the B. S. degree in 1894. 

His teaching experience may be summed up as fol- 
lows: Science teacher, Mount Morris College (1894-1901) ; 
instructor in botany, Central High School, St. Louis (1903- 
1904 ; head of department of botany, McKinley High School, 
St. Louis (1904-1909) ; instructor in botany and general 
science, University High School, University of Chicago 
(1909-1916) ; assistant professor of education in charge of 


professional training of teachers of biological subjects and 
general science, University of Kansas (1916-1919) ; asso- 
ciate professor in education, University of Kansas (1919- ) . 
His graduate study since leaving the University of Mich- 
igan is as follows : graduate student in botany and zoology, 
University of Chicago (1901-1903) ; student in education 
and botany at intervals during term as instructor at Uni- 
versity of Chicago (1909-1916) ; resident graduate student 
from February, 1918, to July, 1918. His total graduate 
credit is somewhat in excess of the requirement for the 
doctorate, but his dissertation is not yet (1919) completed. 

Professor Eikenberry is a member of the Botanical 
Society of America, of the American Geographical Society, 
and of the Central Association of Science and Mathematics 
Teachers, an active member of the National Educational 
Association, and a fellow of the American Association for 
the Advancement of Science. For a number of years he 
has been botanical editor of School Science and Mathe- 
matics. He is an author, with Professor Caldwell, of Ele- 
ments of General Science (1914) and also with Caldwell 
and Pieper, of a Laboratory Manual in General Science 
(1915). The Elements of General Science was revised in 
1918. Problems in Botany is now (1919) in press. Profes- 
sor Eikenberry is also the author of numerous articles in 
scientific magazines and in the Gospel Messenger. 

Professor Eikenberry united with the Church of the 
Brethren in the South Waterloo church, Iowa, in 1886. The 
same congregation elected him, along with A. P. Blough, 
to the ministry on January 2, 1893. The Mount Morris 
congregation ordained him to the eldership on May 4, 
1901. In 1903, he was united in marriage with Miss Flor- 
ence Shaw. They have one son, Robert. 

In addition to his duties in the University, Professor 
Eikenberry finds time to be of service to the church. Upon 
occasion he preaches and is a regular teacher in the Sunday 
School. He is especially interested in the educational work 
of the Brotherhood and in the efforts of the church to solve 
the problems that confront our rural population. 


George Riley Eller, son of Abraham J. and Saloma 
Flory Eller, was born on May 4, 1870, in Roanoke county, 
Virginia. In 1884, he moved with his parents to Douglas 


county, Kansas. His baptism into the Church of the Breth- 
ren occurred in the East Maple Grove church, Johnson 
county, Kansas, at the hands of Elder I. H. Crist, on Octo- 
ber 17, 1889. The common schools furnished Brother Eller 
all the education he ever received. His whole life has been 
spent on the farm. 

Brother Eller's marriage to Miss Mary Tear Marks took 
place at Olathe, Johnson county, Kansas, on February 14, 
1896, and to this union have been born seven children. 

Brother Eller was called to the ministry in the Panther 
Creek congregation, Illinois, on October 17, 1892, Elder J. G. 
Koyer officiating. His advancement in the ministry oc- 
curred in the East Maple Grove church, Kansas, on Septem- 
ber 12, 1896. He was ordained to the bishopric in the Gren- 
ola church, Kansas, in October, 1903. 

In the fall of 1898, Brother Eller moved from Johnson 
county to Douglas county, Kansas, into the Washington 
Creek congregation. On March 1, 1900, he moved into the 
Grenola church and remained there almost ten years. The 
Grenola church, under his care, grew in numbers from about 
twenty to nearly one hundred, and also erected a church 
building. From October, 1903, to December, 1909, he was 
elder in charge of the church and for several years had 
charge of the Fredonia, Independence, and Chanute congre- 

In December, 1909, Brother Eller moved into the Quin- 
ter congregation, in Gove county, where he lived until March 
1, 1917, when he moved into the Maple Grove congregation 
in Norton county. Since March 1, 1920, he has lived at 
Arriba, Colorado, where he now (1920) has charge of the 
Bethel church. 

Brother Eller has served three times on the Standing 
Committee of the Annual Conference (1908, 1913, and 1918). 
He has held revivals in twenty-four different churches in 
the state of Kansas. Both in Southeastern Kansas and 
Northwestern Kansas and Northeastern Colorado he has 
proved of great service to the district mission boards. 
He was the first district Sunday School and Missionary Edu- 
cational Secretary in Northwestern Kansas and was in- 
strumental in starting a movement that resulted in the 
Sunday Schools of that district supporting a missionary on 
the foreign field. Much of Brother Eller's preaching has 
been done at mission points and among isolated members. 



Matthew Mays Eshelman was born in Mifflin county, 
Pennsylvania, on September 1, 1844. He is the son of 
Andrew and Leah Aurand Eshelman. His paternal grand- 
father was born near Zurich, Switzerland, and came to 
Elizabethtown, Pa., in 1727. 

With his parents, M. M. moved to Salem, Chariton 
county, Pa., in 1852. He later went to a grand-uncle's near 
Covington, Ohio, where he staid until the Civil War broke 
out. On August 18, 1862, he enlisted in Company G, 155 
Pa. Volunteers and was mustered in at Pittsburgh. On 
September 1, he arrived with his regiment at Washington, 
D. C. This regiment assisted in checking the rout of the 
Union Army at the second battle of Bull Run. M. M. was 
wounded at Antietam, on September 17, 1862, and taken to 
Wolf Street Hospital at Alexandria, Va. He was honorably 
discharged on December 29, 1862, but later (May, 1864) 
enlisted in Company F, 147 Ohio National Guards. At Fort 
Ethan Allen, Va., he became secretary in the adjutant's 
office. While serving in this capacity he often visited Wash- 
ington, and at least on one occasion heard President Lincoln 
make a speech. 

After the war, M. M. went to Lanark, Illinois, where 
his parents lived. On October 25, 1865, he was married to 
Miss Lizzie A. Best. After teaching school he mixed in 
politics, once serving as a delegate to the convention which 
nominated Logan for Congress. Moving to Christian county, 
he taught school and farmed. He united with the Church 
of the Brethren on June 11, 1873, baptism being adminis- 
tered by Elder David Kimmel. Moving to Cherry Grove in 
1874, he was made a deacon (June 11), and being zealous 
in church work he assisted Christian Hope in arousing in- 
terest in the Danish mission. He gave the first money ever 
given to this enterprise. 

On September 1, 1876, M. M. became associated with 
J. H. Moore and J. T. Myers in the Brethren at Work, at 
Lanark. This he edited until 1882, when that paper was 
moved to Mt. Morris. At Lanark, on September 19, 1878, 
he was elected to the ministry. 

Bro. Eshelman moved to Belleville, Kansas, in 1882. 
Here he preached and farmed. His ordination at the hands 
of Elders Lemuel Hillery and Eli Renner occurred in the 


White Rock church on September 16, 1884. Becoming asso- 
ciated with the movement for a Brethren college in Kan- 
sas he moved to McPherson in 1887. As solicitor for the 
college he raised about $70,000. He was chairman of the 
Board of Trustees for one year. 

In 1890, Bro. Eshelman went to California and with 
others took an option on the Lordsburg hotel, which was 
later to become Lordsburg (now LaVerne) College. As 
immigration agent for the Santa Fe Railroad Company he 
spent five years securing settlers for Southern California. 
In the second year of Lordsburg College he sold out his in- 
terests in that institution and thus straightened out his 

Bro. Eshelman has served the church in many capaci- 
ties. He has been clerk of twenty-three district conferences 
in the states of Illinois, Kansas, Oregon, and California. He 
served on the Standing Committee of Annual Conference in 
1886 and again in 1888. He was the first among the Breth- 
ren to teach Bible schools. He helped colonize Laton and 
Inglewood, California, and w r as a charter member of the 
Lordsburg, Inglewood, and Los Angeles churches. In Feb- 
ruary, 1908, he founded the Berean Bible School. The last 
decade of his life he resided at Tropico, where he was prom- 
inent in city affairs. In 1905, he was made president of the 
Tropico Improvement Association. In 1911, he was presi- 
dent of the Chamber of Commerce of the city. 

Bro. Eshelman wielded the pen for years, both for 
local papers and for magazines. His editorial career covered 
five years. Among his books are "One Faith Vindicated," 
"Sabbatism," "True Vital Piety," "Two Sticks," "Operations 
of the Holy Spirit," and "The Open Way into the Book of 
Revelation." In 1917, there came from his pen "A History 
of the Church of the Brethren in Southern California and 

Brother Eshelman's second wife was before her mar- 
riage Sister Salome A. Watkins. In the Eshelman family 
there were eight children, one of whom is deceased. 
(Brother Eshelman's death occurred at Glendale, Calif., 
on May 23, 1921.) 


Amanda Fahnestock, youngest daughter of Joseph N. 
and Magdalena Yoder Kauffman, was born on November 20, 


1858, at Urbana, Ohio. She is one of a family of ten chil- 
dren. Her earlier education was secured in the rural schools 
of her native county and in the high school of New Carlisle, 
Ohio, from the last of which she was graduated in 1880. 

On June 16, 1881, Miss Kauffman was united in mar- 
riage with S. B. Fahnestock of Covington, Ohio, with whom 
she was destined to share the joys of wedded life until his 
tragic passing into the Great Beyond in 1912. Soon after 
their marriage the young couple went to Columbus, Ohio, 
where Professor Fahnestock taught school and where Mrs. 
Fahnestock took courses in shorthand and typewriting. She 
united with the Church of the Brethren in Covington on 
January 1, 1882. 

In 1889, the Fahnestocks came to McPherson, in 
which place their lives were to become inseparably con- 
nected with the history of McPherson College. From 
1889 to 1897, with the exception of one year, Mrs. 
Fahnestock taught shorthand and typewriting. Dur- 
ing the first six years in McPherson they lived in 
the college dormitory. From 1900 to 1903, Mrs. 
Fahnestock took the Bible course of the college 
under the instruction of Professor Edward Frantz. In 1903, 
she was graduated with the degree, B.S.L. From 1903 to 
1906, she taught Church History in the college, and during 
several absences of Professor Frantz was called upon to 
carry his teaching duties. Mrs. Fahnestock was graduated 
from the college course with the degree Bachelor of Arts 
in 1916, and from the Divinity School with the degree 
Bachelor of Divinity in 1917. 

No woman has ever exercised a more telling and bene- 
ficient influence upon the student life of McPherson College 
than has Mrs. Fahnestock. The Sunday School and the 
local Y. W. C. A. have been her special lines of interest and 
through these avenues of Christian work she has left an 
impress upon the lives of hundreds of young men and 
women. From 1904 to 1911 she was president of the col- 
lege Y. W. C. A. Since 1889, she has taught in the Sunday 
School, with but few interruptions. In 1920, she became 
Dean of Women in McPherson College. 


Samuel Bigler Fahnestock, son of Joseph and Lydia 
Fahnestock, was born in Covington, Ohio, on April 1, 1854. 


His early life was spent in his native state, where he en- 
gaged in teaching school and in merchandising. He was 
educated in Ohio State University, the University of Kan- 
sas, and the Zanerian Business College. From 1879 to 1882, 
he taught school at West Baltimore, Ohio. This was fol- 
lowed by one year at Ansonia, Ohio. The degree Master 
of Commercial Science was conferred upon him by the Na- 
tional Normal, Lebanon, Ohio. 

In 1889, Professor Fahnestock came to McPherson Col- 
lege and became head of the Commercial Department. 
Under him this department gained a wide and enviable 
reputation. He soon became a member of the Board of 
Trustees, of which he continued a member until 1911. He 
was also business manager of the college from 1896 until 
his retirement in 1911. As a penman he was one of the 
most widely known in the West. 

Professor Fahnestock united with the Church of the 
Brethren at Covington on January 1, 1882. He was always 
interested in the church and her work. At McPherson he 
was for many years teacher of a class of older people in the 
Sunday School. On June 16, 1881, he was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Amanda Kauffman, daughter of Joseph N. 
and Magdalena Kauffman of Ohio. For thirty years she 
has been endearing herself to countless girls who have at- 
tended McPherson College and have come under her influ- 

In the city of McPherson, Professor Fahnestock was 
regarded as one of the leading citizens. He was in sympathy 
with every good work and every worthy cause. From 1899 
to 1907, he served very acceptably on the city council. 

After leaving McPherson in 1911, Professor and Mrs. 
Fahnestock went to California. On January 9, 1912, while 
bathing on the beach at Long Beach, he was overcome by 
heart failure and died almost instantly. The body was 
brought to McPherson, where, on January 17, very impres- 
sive services, attended by hosts of his friends, were con- 
ducted in the college chapel by his colleague of former 
years, Edward Frantz. In his memory the men's dormitory 
at the college bears the name Fahnestock Hall. The Car- 
negie Library at the college is also the result of his per- 
sistent interest in the institution and its future. His body 
was interred in the same lot in the McPherson cemetery 
with that of President C. E. Arnold. 



Otto Herman Feiler was born in Stuttgart, Wurttem- 
burg, Germany, on November 1, 1879. He is the son of 
Adolf and Fredericka Feiler, who, in 1880, in order to edu- 
cate their children in a land of liberty and religious freedom 
and to escape the hateful military system of their native 
land, sailed to America. The Feilers were early settlers in 
the vicinity of Quinter, Gove county, Kansas. 

At the age of twelve, 0. H. united with the Covenanter 
Presbyterian church and soon became a leader and teacher 
among his people. On June 22, 1904, he was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Alma Anderson and to this happy union 
have been born four children — Carrie May, Helen Edith, 
Dola Rachel, and Ezra Herman. In 1905, O. H. and his wife 
united with the Brethren at Quinter, Elder D. A. Crist 
administering baptism. He immediately became a teacher 
of a class of young people, four of whom are now ministers. 
On May 2, 1908, the call of God to the Gospel ministry came 
through the Quinter church. The answer was "I am but a 
farmer boy, but the call is from God, and He being my 
helper I will do the best I can." Installation occurred on 
May 16, and the following Sunday Bro. Feiler preached from 
the text "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man 
availeth much." 

Bro. Feiler's ability attracted the attention of the Mis- 
sion Board of Northwestern Kansas and Northeastern Colo- 
rado, and so the same year of his call to the ministry there 
was a call from the Board to take up the work of the church 
at Dorrance, Kansas. His pastorate at Dorrance extended 
from 1909 to 1914. The church grew and prospered under 
his wise leading. While at Dorrance (December 20, 1909), 
he was advanced to the second degree of the ministry. 

On December 1, 1914, Bro. Feiler and family moved to 
Hutchinson to take up the work of the mission at that place 
under the direction of the Mission Board of Southwestern 
Kansas and Southeastern Colorado. On May 6, 1916, Elders 
J. J. Yoder and A. F. Miller officiating, Bro. Feiler was or- 
dained to the eldership in the Pleasant View church. 

The work at Hutchinson experienced phenomenal 
growth under the care of Elder Feiler. During his first four 
years of service, the scattered membership of twelve grew 
to a working force of one hundred and forty. On December 


31, 1916, the mission, which had been up to this time a 
part of the Pleasant View church at Darlow, was organized 
as a separate congregation under the name of the First 
Church of the Brethren of Hutchinson. Elder Feiler was 
placed in charge. 

Brother Feiler is liberal in his views but is a strong 
advocate of reforms and of church loyalty. He is an abso- 
lutely fearless preacher. He loves to preach, and in addi- 
tion to his usual pastoral duties he finds time to engage in 
evangelistic work, a field in which he has had marked suc- 
cess. He has also found time to take a few courses in Mc- 
Pherson College. 

At present (1919), Brother Feiler is Secretary-Treas- 
urer of the Old Folks' Home at Darlow, Vice-President 
of the Child Rescue Society of the State of Kansas, and 
elder in charge of the churches at Hutchinson, Pleasant 
View, and Protection. 


Caleb John Fogle, son of John Gottlieb and Christena 
Youse Fogle, was born on February 20, 1841, in Witten- 
berg, Germany. At .the age of twelve he came with his 
parents to the United States. His early religious training 
was received in the Lutheran church. 

Wyandotte county, Ohio, was the scene of his later boy- 
hood days. He received but little education. In 1868, he 
was united in marriage to Susannah Tusing of Warsaw, 
Indiana. To this union were born three daughters, one of 
whom died in her teens and one of whom became the wife 
of Elder David Betts of Nampa, Idaho. 

In 1876, C. J. Fogle was baptized into the Church of the 
Brethren, in either the Honey Creek or Ash Ridge church, 
Wisconsin. On June 4, 1876, he was elected a deacon. In 
one month less one day he was elected to the ministry (July 
3, 1876). His early church work was done in the Honey 
Creek congregation, Wisconsin. Here he endured many 
hardships, doing much riding about on horseback. 

In 1882, Bro. Fogle moved to Southeastern Kansas, 
associating himself with the Independence church. Here, 
on September 27, 1890, he was ordained to the eldership. 
Here also he was at the height of usefulness to the church. 
Always willing to deny himself for the sake of the cause, he 
did much evangelistic work with little or no remuneration. 


He never exacted support for the preaching of the Gospel. 
He stood high in the councils of the district, served on many 
committees, and in 1898, was a member of the Standing 
Committee of Annual Conference. Twice he engaged in 
public debate, ably upholding the practice of the Church of 
the Brethren. He wrote an unpublished work entitled 'The 
Setting Up of the Kingdom." 

Broken in health in 1899, he removed to Nampa, Idaho, 
and although his health showed some signs of improvement, 
the end drew near, and on May 4, 1902, he passed quietly 
away, having to his credit an active ministerial career of 
twenty-three years. 


John Forney, born on a farm near Berlin, Somerset 
county, Pennsylvania, was of sturdy German stock. His 
parents were members of the Church of the Brethren. John, 
the sixth of a family of eight sons and three daughters, was 
born on April 25, 1815. His only education was in the 
German, with three months English. The Bible was his 
only reader. In 1846, however, he became interested in the 
study of medicine, and although he never attended medical 
college, he was enabled by close application to practice medi- 
cine. He had great success in treating cancer. 

In 1833, John united with the Church of the Brethren. 
He soon set for himself the task of memorizing the entire 
Bible and made marked progress in that direction. In 1856, 
he was elected to the ministry. In 1870, in the Silver Creek 
congregation, Nebraska, he was ordained. He was greatly 
beloved as an elder and once had seven congregations under 
his care. He served on the Standing Committee of Annual 
Conference in the years 1882, 1884, and 1890. 

In 1858, Bro. Forney moved to Illinois, first to Ogle and 
then to Carroll county. In 1869, he moved to Falls City, 
Nebraska. His last move, in 1878, was to Abilene, Kansas, 
where he lived until his death. Farming, practicing medi- 
cine, and preaching occupied his time. He prospered in all 
three occupations. He frequently traveled about among 
the churches of Kansas, Nebraska, and Missouri. By pri- 
vate conveyance he covered thousands of miles in his itin- 
erant preaching. His ability and earnestness won many 
to Christ. Often his colaborer was J. D. Trostle. 

Bro. Forney was an ardent friend of education and 


showed special interest in church history. His own lack of 
educational preparation was a matter of keen regret. 

Bro. Forney was twice married. His first wife was 
Eve Horner, who bore him five children. Elassanne Stahl, 
the second wife, became the mother of fourteen children. 
At the time of Bro. Forney's death there were one hundred 
and three grandchildren and twenty-five great-grandchil- 
dren, although three children, twenty-one grandchildren, 
and two great-grandchildren had preceded him in death. 
Paralysis suddenly attacked the veteran elder and he passed 
away at his home at Abilene, on February 6, 1895. 


Edward Frantz, son of Elder Henry and Sarah Leedy 
Frantz, was born on June 21, 1868, near New Carlisle, Ohio. 
His early life was spent on the farm. In March, 1882, he 
was baptized into the Church of the Brethren in the Don- 
nel's Creek congregation, Ohio. His election to the Gospel 
ministry occurred in the McPherson church, Kansas, on 
March 21, 1891. He was ordained to the eldership by the 
same congregation on April 14, 1897. 

Brother Frantz has had an educational training of a 
broad character. He attended the rural school in Ohio as 
a boy and then finished the New Carlisle high school. He 
then went to Bridgewater College but did not remain to 
finish his course in that institution. In 1890, he received 
the A.B. degree from the Ohio Northern University. Three 
years later he secured the A.M. from the same institution. 
Entering the University of Chicago, he was again given the 
A.B. degree and from 1892 to 1895 pursued courses leading 
to the Ph.D. degree. Considerations of health, however, 
did not permit his finishing the dissertation required for 
that degree. In 1915, McPherson College conferred upon 
Brother Frantz the title Doctor of Divinity. 

For seventeen years, Brother Frantz was associated 
with McPherson College. From 1890 to 1892, he was pro- 
fessor of mathematics. From 1895 to 1902, he was pro- 
fessor of ancient languages and Bible. In 1902, upon the 
death of President Arnold, he assumed the arduous duties 
of the presidency of the college, in which position he re- 
mained until a failure of his health in 1910 compelled him 
to retire. While president, he was also professor of Biblical 
languages and interpretation. While recuperating his 


health in California, he spent several years in ranching. 
During the year 1914-1915, he was President of LaVerne 
(then Lordsburg) College. On October 1, 1915, he entered 
upon his duties as office editor of the Gospel Messenger at 
Elgin, Illinois, succeeding Elder J. H. Moore in that position. 
This position he still (1921) holds. 

In former years Brother Frantz was most generally 
known as a teacher. Hundreds of former students of Mc- 
Pherson College and those who have attended his lectures 
at Bible Institutes remember with keen delight his mas- 
terly skill of interpretation. His incisiveness as a teacher 
is everywhere apparent in his editorial writings. When he 
speaks he says what seems to be the last word on the sub- 
ject in hand. He has filled the pages of the Gospel Mes- 
senger with good constructive material and in a dignified 
way has guided its course through trying times. His ideal 
has always been a forward-going church. 

From 1908 to 1911, Brother Frantz was a member of 
the General. Educational Board. For a number of years he 
was a member of the Tract Examining Committee and of 
the Gospel Messenger Advisory Committee. In 1915, he 
represented Southern California and Arizona on the Stand- 
ing Committee of the Annual Conference. 

On December 24, 1890, Brother Frantz was united in 
marriage with Miss Effie B. Wine of Crimora, Virginia. 
They have three children, all of whom are living. 


Maurice Samuel Frantz, son of Samuel and Susan 
Frantz, was born on May 7, 1887, on a farm near Edgerton, 
Johnson county, Kansas. Here he spent his boyhood days. 
At the age of ten he accompanied his parents, who were 
members of a colony of Brethren who went from the East 
Maple Grove church to Arkansas. After living in Arkansas 
two years the Frantz family came back to Kansas, locating 
in the Scott Valley church, Coffee county, where they lived 
for seven years. 

Being a poor boy and largely dependent upon his own 
resources, Maurice received only a limited education. But 
he had determination, and soon after completing the 
eighth grade he studied in the State Normal at Em- 
poria, the Steadman Business College of Rocky Ford, 
Colorado, McPherson College, and Friends University, 


Wichita, Kansas. He has also completed two cor- 
respondence courses — one from the Kansas State 
Agricultural College and the other from the Scho- 
field Bible Correspondence School. Much of his educa- 
tion has been secured in his own library and in the school 
of experience. 

Maurice's early training in a Christian home naturally 
turned his mind to the ministry. This ideal he never lost 
sight of in all his youthful fancy. On January 26, 1906, he 
was baptized and became an active worker in the Rocky 
Ford church, Colorado. It was through this church that 
the Lord, on April 3, 1909, called Bro. Frantz to the Gospel 
ministry. He was installed by Elder David Hamm. In 
November, 1910, he was advanced in office, and on December 
2, 1914, upon the recommendation of the elders of South- 
western Kansas and Southeastern Colorado, he was ordained 
to the eldership in the Salem congregation, near Nickerson, 
Kansas. At that time he was but twenty-seven years of 
age — the youngest elder in the district. 

Just ten months after his election to the ministry, Bro. 
Frantz was asked by the Mission Board of Southwestern 
Kansas and Southeastern Colorado to take charge of the 
mission at Hartman, Colorado. This call was accepted and 
he staid there until October 1, 1911, when the Boardtrans- 
ferred him to the West Side Mission at Wichita, Kansas. 
For nearly three years he worked here, building up a flour- 
ishing mission. On May 1, 1914, he accepted a call from the 
Salem church, Kansas, where he served as pastor for over 
two years. However, Wichita needed his services and on 
October 1, 1916, he became pastor of the First Church of 
that city. Resigning this position on August 1, 1919, he 
moved with his family to Lindsay, California, where he is 
now pastor of the Church of the Brethren. 

Along with his pastoral duties, Elder Frantz has done 
some evangelistic work in which he has been successful 
in winning souls for Christ. In holding revivals he has 
preached in Kansas, Missouri, Colorado, Oklahoma, Illinois, 
California, and Nebraska. He has served as elder in charge 
of the Salem and Wichita churches. With the greater part 
of his life, as men see things, before him, he desires to spend 
and to be spent for the glory of God. 

On March 1, 1908, Bro. Frantz was united in marriage 


with Miss Zoa Talhelm, daughter of H. P. and Anna Tal- 
helm, of Rocky Ford. This union has been blessed with six 


Jacob Funk was born in Piatt county, Illinois, near 
LaPlace, on November 19, 1877. He is the son of Levi and 
Katherine Wagner Funk, both of whom were members of 
the Church of the Brethren. His maternal grandfather, 
Jacob Wagner, was an elder and his Grandfather Funk was 
a deacon. 

When Jacob was a lad of seven his parents moved to 
Kansas, settling near Conway Springs, where he grew to 
manhood, getting his education in the common schools and 
in a denominational college then located at Conway Springs. 
He taught school for four years, worked on his father's 
farm, and clerked in a hardware and implement store. 

On April 15, 1892, Jacob was baptized into Christ and 
realized at that time that the Lord had a work for him in 
the ministry. So keenly did he feel the need of his Savior 
that for several days previous to his surrender he could 
hardly eat or sleep. The joy and peace which he derived 
from the experience of accepting Jesus has been his ever 
since. On March 24, 1901, he made a wise choice when he 
took for his life companion Miss Cora Landis, whom he 
had known since coming to Kansas, both as a school-mate 
and as a sweetheart. Three children blessed this union — 
Lloyd Victor, Hazel May, and Earl Jacob. Lloyd was elected 
to the ministry in 1918, for which work he is now prepar- 
ing. On February 27, 1919, Bro. Funk experienced the 
greatest sorrow of his life when his noble companion was 
called to her eternal reward — a victim of the influenza epi- 
demic then raging in Wiley, Colorado. She was the "balance 
wheel" of Bro. Funk's life and he has had cause daily to 
thank God for the joy of her companionship for nineteen 

On December 11, 1897, in the Conway Springs (then 
Slate Creek) church, Bro. Funk was called to the ministry. 
Four years later the same congregation advanced him in 
the office (October, 1901). In 1913, while in the Peabody 
church, he was ordained to the eldership, Elders J. J. Yoder 
and M. J. Mishler officiating. His early ministerial efforts 
were confined to the Conway Springs church, where he 


served for one year as pastor — the first salaried pastor in 
the district. For seven years (1904-1911) he served as 
pastor of the Wichita Mission under the direction of the 
District Mission Board. During this time the two churches 
of Wichita were erected. Giving up the work in Wichita, 
he located at Peabody, where for three years (1912-1915) 
he served that congregation as elder and pastor. For four 
years (1915-1919) he lived at Wiley, Colorado, where he 
was pastor of one of the most aggressive churches of the 
Brotherhood. In these four years the membership grew 
from ninety-five to two hundred and forty-six. Bro. Funk 
also made himself a force for good in the community in 
helping to advance every worthy movement and enterprise. 
For some time he was secretary of the Wiley Commercial 

At different times Bro. Funk has served as elder in 
charge of the following congregations : Wichita and Pea- 
body, Kansas, Rocky Ford, Colorado, and Miami, New 
Mexico. For twelve years he was a member of the program 
committee of the district of Southwestern Kansas and 
Southeastern Colorado. Four times he has served District 
Conference as Writing Clerk, twice as Moderator, and in 
1919, represented the district on the Standing Committee 
of Annual Conference. For two years he was Field Secre- 
tary of McPherson College. For a number of years he has 
been a member of the National Peace Committee of the 
church. He has been useful on many church committees. 

As a preacher, Bro. Funk is unusual. A tireless worker 
and a man of deepest convictions, he is a power in the pulpit. 
Growth in spirituality and in membership are the marks of 
the churches where he has ministered. He is known to 
many as the author (1910) of the book "War versus Peace." 

In 1920, Brother Funk took as his second wife, Miss 
Ella Buger of Wiley, Colorado. They now reside at Pomona, 
California, where Brother Funk is pastor. 


James Zacchaeus Gilbert, fifth child in a family of 
eleven children, was born on January 1, 1866, to Israel and 
Mary Horning Gilbert, on a small farm near North Man- 
chester, Indiana. He attended the district school and the 
Ogan's Creek church. It was in this church, during a series 
of meetings when James was twelve years of age, that he 
accepted Christ and was baptized by Abraham Leedy. 


After finishing the grades James took the examinations 
for a certificate and at seventeen began teaching at Servia, 
Indiana. Then he entered Mount Morris College, and al- 
though he had planned to remain but a short time, he com- 
pleted the Scientific, Latin Scientific, Commercial, and Bible 
courses before leaving the Mount. Lack of funds compelled 
him to earn his own way through school. While in Mount 
Morris he was much interested in religious work and walked 
five miles each Sunday morning in order to superintend a 
Sunday School in a school house south of town. 

In the fall of 1891, James entered McPherson College, 
where he remained three years. He taught two classes to 
pay expenses. During his first year in the college the Mc- 
Pherson church called him to the ministry (January 9, 
1892) . For two years he had pastoral charge at Bridgeport, 
a small town twenty miles north of McPherson. In the 
spring of 1894, he graduated from the college with the de- 
gree A.B. and the following fall he entered the University 
of Kansas, at Lawrence, from which he took the Master's 
degree in the spring of 1895. 

For five years following his graduation from the Uni- 
versity, Bro. Gilbert taught school and took post-graduate 
work at Lawrence during his vacations. One entire year 
was also spent in the University of Kansas and one summer 
in the University of Chicago. 

In the spring of 1887, just shortly before the close of 
the school year at Mount Morris, Bro. Gilbert met Miss Har- 
riet Yoder, a student from Iowa. When he entered Mc- 
Pherson he met her again. They were married at Holmes- 
ville, Nebraska, on Christmas day, 1895. 

In March, 1900, Professor Gilbert received a call from 
Daleville, Virginia, to accept the presidency of the college 
at that place. In September, 1900, he assumed his duties 
as President of Daleville College, remaining here three 
years. From Daleville he moved with his wife and three 
children, Harry Howard, Walter Pryce, and Mary Marguer- 
ite, to Los Angeles, California, where since 1904, he has been 
instructor of biology in the high school. 

Professor Gilbert is one of the elders in the First 
Church of the Brethren in Los Angeles, having been or- 
dained by this congregation. He has continued his scientific 


research as spare time has been afforded. In 1908, in com- 
pany with Dr. Harry Hager of Chicago, then a student of 
his, he discovered the La Brea beds in Los Angeles county. 
These fossils he identified, and upon the basis of this and 
other work done in other finds in the state, McPherson 
College, at her 1918 commencement, conferred upon Pro- 
fessor Gilbert the degree Doctor of Science. A short time 
later Mount Morris College conferred upon him the degree 
Doctor of Laws. 


Christian Harader was born in Preston county, Vir- 
ginia, and died near Arkansas City, Kansas, on August 17, 
1905, aged 79 years, 11 months, and 29 days. In 1845, he 
was married to Mary Ann Cupp. Under the preaching of 
James Quinter he was converted in 1846. His election to 
the ministry occurred in 1850, in the Salem church, Penn- 
sylvania. In 1856, he moved to Iowa and was the first 
Brethren minister in Adams county. Under his labors the 
church at Mount Etna was built up. In 1873 and 1874 he 
served on the Standing Committee of Annual Conference. 
He was a member of the committee sent to Missouri to 
examine J. W. Stein. In 1874, he moved to Barry county, 
Missouri, locating at Newtonia. Until his removal to Kansas 
in 1884, he was elder in charge of the Shoal Creek church. 

In Kansas he was associated with the Silver Creek 
church at Arkansas City, of which for some years he was 
elder in charge. His first wife, the mother of six daughters 
and three sons, died in 1866. In 1868, he married Sara A., 
the daughter of Andrew Keethler. Of his children one 
daughter and one son died while young. Bro. Harader once 
took a stand with the Progressive Brethren but was later 
reconciled with the Church of the Brethren. About a year 
before his death he made a bequest of ten thousand dollars 
to the General Mission Board. He met his death by over- 
exertion in his blacksmith shop, where he was setting wagon 


Henry Jacob Harnly, son of H. H. and Elizabeth 
Hoerner Harnly, was born on February 23, 1862, at Man- 
heim, Lancaster county, Pennsylvania. The family is of 
Swiss ancestry and dates in America from 1737. 

The subject of this sketch is one of six brothers and 


three sisters. He was brought up on the farm and attended 
the common schools of Pennsylvania and Illinois, to which 
latter state his parents moved in 1875, locating at Auburn. 
He spent three months in the Auburn high school and in 
1883-1884, attended the academy of Mount Morris College. 
In 1884-1885, he taught in the public schools of Illinois. In 
1885, he attended the New Orleans Cotton Exposition. The 
fall of 1885 found him a student in the Illinois Wesleyan 
University, at Bloomington. There he spent three and one- 
half years, after which he taught another year. Then he re- 
turned to the Wesleyan, from which he was graduated in 
the spring of 1891, with the degree Bachelor of Science. In 
the spring term of 1889, he had taught in Mount Morris 

H. J. was determined on doing graduate work and for 
that purpose secured a scholarship in Harvard University, 
where he studied (1891-1892) in the departments of biology 
and physics. He was granted the Bachelor of Arts degree 
from Harvard in 1892, and the same year the Master of 
Arts degree from Illinois Wesleyan. In 1900, with the dis- 
sertation "Are the Darwinian Theories a Sufficient Expla- 
nation of Life ?", he secured the Doctor's degree from Illinois 

Since the fall of 1892, Professor Harnly has been one of 
the pillars of McPherson College. He has always retained 
the enthusiasm and vim with which he entered the institu- 
tion as a young man to head the science department. He 
has staid by the college through every vicissitude and has 
cherished an optimism that has known no defeats. In 1910- 
1911, for the first time, he permitted himself to enjoy a leave 
of absence, spending that year in study as a visitor in Leland 
Stanford University and pursuing courses under such men 
as Jordan, Kellogg, Heath, Price, and Jenkins. Returning 
to the college, he has served continuously until 1920, when 
he was granted a year's leave for foreign travel. 

Professor Harnly has been unusually active aside from 
the routine of classroom work. In his earlier years he en- 
gaged much in summer institute work. He has also in- 
structed in Bible institutes, both at the college and else- 
where. For a few years he was identified with the work of 
the Kansas State Geological Survey. Since 1893, he has 
served almost continuously as a trustee of McPherson Col- 


lege, much of that time as secretary of the board. He has 
traveled considerably and has been in every state of the 
union except Rhode Island, Delaware, North Dakota, South 
Dakota, Montana, and Arkansas. 

On December 26, 1887, in the Sugar Creek church, Illi- 
nois, Professor Harnly was baptized into the Church of the 
Brethren. He has always been a staunch believer in her 
doctrines and has defended them with scholarly ability. He 
often lectures on religious subjects and for years has been 
a teacher in the Sunday School. 

On July 8, 1892, not long before coming to McPherson, 
Professor Harnly took for his bride Miss Sarah Witmore, 
daughter of Elder Jacob Witmore. They were married in 
New York City, T. T. Myers performing the ceremony. 
There are four children in the family, two sons and two 

Professor Harnly's ability has been recognized by edu- 
cators everywhere. He is a life member of the Kansas 
Academy of Science, a member of the American Associa- 
tion for the Advancement of Science, and a member of the 
Genetic Society. 

In 1920-1921, Professor Harnly, along with J. J. Yoder 
made a world tour, visiting the Brethren missions and 
studying foreign conditions in general. 


Joshua Potter Harshbarger, third son of Budd and 
Martha Harshbarger, was born at McAllarey's Fort, Hunt- 
ingdon county, Pennsylvania, on May 5, 1854. He received 
a common school education along with several terms in 
Juniata and McPherson Colleges. He was baptized by 
Abram Myers in 1872, in the Spring Run church, Mifflin 
county, Pennsylvania. On March 4, 1876, he was united in 
marriage with Mary S. Van Dyke, oldest daughter of Elder 
Archy Van Dyke. To this union was born one daughter, 
Laura Esther, now the wife of Professor B. S. Haugh, of 
La Verne College. 

In 1879, the Harshbargers emigrated to Beatrice, Ne- 
braska, then a sparsely settled community. There they be- 
came pioneers in Sunday School work. In October, 1886, in 
company with Elder Henry Brubaker, they removed to 
Gainesville, Texas, to do mission work. On February 12, 
1887, in the Williams Creek church, Texas, Bro. Harsh- 


barger was called to the ministry. In June, 1887, the family 
crossed the Indian Territory by private conveyance to take 
up church work in Western Kansas. On the trip they 
encountered swollen streams, washed out bridges, and roving 
red men. Their, destination was Friend, Kansas, a place 
which they reached in July. 

In July, 1887, the Harshbargers, with others, became 
charter members of the Prairie View church, which was 
organized in Scott county. The following spring, Bro. 
Harshbarger was advanced to the second degree of the 
ministry. By another year the officials of the congrega- 
tion were all gone and the burden of the work rested on our 
brother. These were years of destitution in Western Kan- 
sas and Bro. Harshbarger and family bore the trials of the 
frontier with cheery hearts. Often the sod-house congrega- 
tion to which the minister preached had neither shoes nor 
coats sufficient to go around. Aid sometimes came from 
eastern congregations. Says Bro. Harshbarger: "Several 
times when pressed sorely for the necessities of life and 
feeling surely we would be obliged to leave the field, we 
would find money under our plates as we would dine at the 
homes of the community." 

In March, 1893, the District Mission Board of South- 
western Kansas and Southeastern Colorado, requested Bro. 
Harshbarger to take charge of the Old Folks' Home at 
Booth (now Darlow), Kansas, and also to do some preach- 
ing. Thus, after serving Prairie View for seven years, Bro. 
Harshbarger removed to Booth and entered upon a two- 
year term of superintendency. In March, 1895, at the soli- 
citation of the Booth church and the General Mission 
Board, he started the mission work in the city of Hutchin- 
son. This work was carried on with but scant support 
and at a great sacrifice to Bro. Harshbarger and family. 

In 1898, the Harshbargers located at McPherson. The 
same year, on May 21, along with A. C. Wieand and C. E. 
Arnold, Bro. Harshbarger was ordained to the eldership. 
He also began preaching for the East McPherson church. 
For eleven years he served as minister and elder at the 
East church. In 1913, Bro. and Sister Harshbarger accom- 
panied Professor and Mrs. Haugh to La Verne, California, 
where they now reside. 



Zaccheus Henricks was born on July 10, 1840, in San- 
dusky county, Ohio. He was the son of Daniel and Saloma 
Henricks, both of whom were members of the Church of the 
Brethren. He saw service in the Civil War. On June 20, 
1863, in his native state and county, he was united in mar- 
riage with Rebecca Grant. To this union were born four 
sons and one daughter. In 1864, the family moved to Con- 
stantine, St. Joseph county, Michigan, moving again, how- 
ever, in 1869, to Caldwell county, Missouri. In 1873, the 
parents were baptized into the Church of the Brethren in 
the Log Creek congregation. Brother Henricks was elected 
to the ministry in this congregation in September, 1875, was 
advanced in October, 1877, and was ordained to the elder- 
ship in August, 1881. While living in Missouri, he worked 
at the carpenter's trade. 

His companion dying in 1886, Elder Henricks went to 
Western Kansas. While stopping for a short time in 
Haskell county it became known that he was a minister and 
he was pressed with many calls for preaching. He finally 
settled in Grant county, where he resided for about nine 
years. While living here he devoted almost all his time to 
frontier mission work. This work extended over into Colo- 
rado and called for great sacrifice. Some of his frontier 
work was done in conjunction with Elder George E. 
Studebaker. Brother Henricks has been for some years in 
the National Home for Soldiers, near Satell, California. 


James Edward Hilkey, born on November 27, 1831, was 
the son of John and Nancy Bailey Hilkey, of the Greenland 
congregation in Hardy county, Virginia. It was in this 
church that James accepted Christ in baptism on October 
14, 1854, and here also that he was called to the ministry, 
the date of his election probably being 1856. In 1855, he 
was united in marriage to Hannah Clark, daughter of 
Thomas Clark, who was often a preaching companion of 
Elder John Kline. 

In 1864, with his family, Brother Hilkey accompanied 
the T. D. Lyon family to Hudson, Illinois, where he re- 
mained until the spring of 1865, when he removed to Kan- 
sas, locating south of Lawrence in the Washington Creek 
congregation. He immediately became active in the work 


and, in 1868, was ordained to the eldership by Elder John 
Bowers. Churches far and near called for his services. At 
different times he was elder in charge of the following 
churches: Wade Branch, Washington Creek, Cottonwood, 
and Pleasant Grove. Brother Hilkey spent much time in 
visiting churches and mission points and in doing committee 
work for his district. His patience and good judgment were 
admirable. He served on the Standing Committee of An- 
nual Conference in 1887. 

Brother Hilkey was perhaps the first one to suggest the 
practicability of establishing the Mutual Aid Association, 
an insurance organization of the Church of the Brethren, 
with headquarters in the Northeastern District of Kansas. 
In 1888, he moved to Osage county, where he made his 
home with his son, Adam. When the Overbrook church 
was organized, in 1907, he was one of the charter members. 
His declining years were spent quietly and patiently, and 
when the end came on April 18, 1916, he was indeed at "the 
bound of man's appointed years." His body lies in the 
Valley Brook cemetery, near Overbrook. 


William B. Himes, son of George and Catherine Himes, 
was born in York county, Pennsylvania, on December 23, 
1838. He received but little education and after becoming 
a minister was compelled to learn to read in order to ex- 
pound the Scriptures. For three years he served as a soldier 
in the Union army. In 1865, he chose as his companion 
Rachel Webbert, of Milltown (now Huntsdale), Pennsyl- 
vania. On January 1, 1868, both he and his wife united 
with the Church of the Brethren in the Upper Cumberland 
congregation. In 1872, he removed to Kansas, settling in 
Russell county, where he took a claim and lived continuously 
for thirty-six years. In the summer or fall of 1876, he was 
elected to the ministry in the North Solomon congregation. 
On May 8, 1897, the Dorrance congregation ordained him 
to the full ministry. For some time he had charge of this 
congregation. He passed away at Quinter, Kansas, on Oc- 
tober 2, 1913. Of his seven children, two sons preceded him 
and two sons and three daughters survived. Two sons and 
one daughter became members of the Church of the 



Sidney Hodgden was born in Delaware county, Ohio, 
on March 3, 1831, and died on March 8, 1902. He was united 
in marriage with Catherine Davy, daughter of Elder Henry 
D. Davy, on February 2, 1854. This union was blessed with 
four children, only one of whom, Elder Dorsey Hodgden, of 
Dayton, Ohio, survives. Brother Hodgden was received into 
the Church of the Brethren in the Delaware congregation, 
Ohio, on July 5, 1856. He was called to the ministry in 
1870, near Springfield, Missouri. In 1872, he located in 
Neosho county, Kansas. This country was then new and 
many calls came in from small groups of members here and 
there. At one time Elder Hodgden had charge of five 
churches scattered over southeastern Kansas. He was 
always greatly concerned in the welfare of these churches. 
In 1873, when the District Conference was held in Douglas 
county, Bro. Hodgden, being limited in money and the teams 
being busy in the field, walked the entire distance of one 
hundred and sixty miles to the place of meeting. Although 
of limited education, he was a constant student of the Word 
and by virtue of being a clear, logical reasoner, was con- 
sidered above the average of the ministers of his day. As 
an evangelist he was successful. He served on the Standing 
Committee of the Annual Conference three times, in 1884, 
1893, and 1897. The General Mission Board sent him to do 
mission work in Arkansas and Idaho. Elder Hodgden died 
near Galesburg, Kansas, on the day above stated. The 
funeral discourse was preached by Elder E. M. Wolfe to a 
large audience, in the church which Elder Hodgden had 
reared with his own hands. 


Isaac L. Hoover, son of Isaac B. and Mary Ann Hoover, 
was born on March 19, 1859, in the bounds of the Washing- 
ton Creek church, Douglas county, Kansas. His parents 
both died of the cholera the latter part of August, 1866. 
The father was one of the first deacons elected by the Breth- 
ren in Kansas, his election occurring in the Washington 
Creek church at the time of organization in 1859. Young 
Isaac, after the death of his parents, was taken into the 
godly home of Deacon John C. Metsker, where he grew to 
manhood's estate. 

Isaac's education was received in the common schools. 


He never had the opportunity to satisfy his longing for 
higher education. On December 14, 1879, he was united in 
marriage with Miss Mary Elizabeth Stutsman, Elder Joseph 
Michael performing the ceremony at the home of the bride's 
parents. To this union have been born nine sons and two 
daughters, all of whom are living (1921). 

With his wife, I. L. united with the Church of the 
Brethren and was baptized on October 25, 1880. On Novem- 
ber 1, 1885, he was chosen deacon and on April 9, 1889, was 
elected to the ministry in the Washington Creek church. 
He was advanced on May 7, 1892. He was later (July 13, 
1895) ordained to the eldership in the same congregation. 

Brother Hoover has served the church in many capaci- 
ties. He was moderator of the first Sunday School conven- 
tion held by the Brethren in Northeastern Kansas. This 
convention was held in Meriden in 1898. He served on the 
Mission Board of this district twenty-three consecutive 
years. He was a member of the Standing Committee of the 
Annual Conference in 1901 and 1905. In 1917, he was a 
member of the Committee of Arrangements for the Wichita 

Brother Hoover is an ardent advocate of the temper- 
ance movement. For many years he was chairman of the 
Temperance Committee of his district. He is also a mem- 
ber of the Anti-Saloon League of America. For some years 
he has been president of the Mutual Aid Association of the 
Church of the Brethren. This insurance organization, under 
his management, has enjoyed a substantial growth. Brother 
Hoover retired from the farm a few years ago and lived 
in Overbrook until the spring of 1918, when he returned to 
the pursuit of tilling the soil on his farm near the village of 
Lone Star, southwest of Lawrence. 


Christian Hope, son of Lars Christian and Anna Hope, 
was born of Lutheran parentage, in Fyne, Denmark, on 
December 7, 1844. He received a good education, the 
father intending that he should enter the ministry. Due, 
however, to the opposition of the mother, Christian learn- 
ed the trade of harness-making. 

Christian was an earnest seeker in religion. The 
practice of immersion drew him to the Baptist church, 
but he soon withdrew from that communion. The writing 


of some tracts brought persecution and imprisonment. 
To escape imprisonment he came to America in 1870, 
settling in Ames, Iowa. 

On October 6, 1871, Christian was united in marriage 
with Mary Nielson at Store City, Iowa. Three sons and 
nine daughters were born to this union. In 1872, the 
Hopes moved to Clinton, Iowa. Here Christian joined the 
English Baptists but this brought no satisfaction. Chanc- 
ing to find a newspaper reference to the Tunkers he 
wrote to various cities to ascertain the whereabouts of a 
people with whose principles he was so much impressed. 
While pastor of a Swedish Baptist church in Rock Island, 
Illinois, he got in touch with Elder George D. Zollers, who 
on October 25, 1874, baptized him and two others. 

On November 12, 1875, at a meeting held in the 
Cherry Grove congregation in Northern Illinois, Bro. 
Hope was elected to the ministry. The vote was unani- 
mous. On the same day Enoch Eby and Daniel Fry were 
selected to go as missionaries to Denmark and the Hopes 
were to go along to act as interpreters and helpers. 
Plans changed, however, and the Hopes alone went to 
Denmark, arriving in that country in the spring of 1876. 
A total of ten converts were secured in two years. In 
1877, brethren Eby and Fry went to Denmark and helped 
organize a Brethren church. Bro. Hope was then ad- 
vanced to the second degree of the ministry. On Novem- 
ber 18, 1877, while still in Denmark, he was ordained to 
the eldership by Elders Eby and Fry. 

After ten years of faithful and effective service, Bro. 
and Sister Hope returned to America, arriving on August 
11, 1886. A popular subscription among the Brethren 
bought them a farm near Herington, Kansas. In 1891- 
1892, Bro. Hope and D. L. Miller and wife visited Scandi- 
navia and organized the church work. In 1895, Bro. 
Hope again visited Denmark. In 1898, he made his final 
trip. Between these trips he made many journeys among 
his fellow-countrymen in America in order to preach the 
Gospel to them. He served on the standing committee of 
Annual Conferences in the years 1889, 1890, 1896, and 

Bro. Hope was an unusual man. Humility, unselfish- 


ness, optimism, and an abiding confidence in God, were 
outstanding traits of his personality. As a preacher he 
was effective. A thorough knowledge of the Bible and 
a native endowment of ready speech made him a power 
in the pulpit. 

On returning, in 1899, from a missionary trip to Texas, 
he succumbed to disease and passed away suddenly on 
July 31, 1899. His resting place is in the cemetery at 
Herington, Kansas. 


Leonard Huber was born on November 6, 1819, in 
Bavaria, Germany. After a preparatory training he com- 
pleted his course in a gymnasium, later spending seven 
years studying philosophy, philology, and law in the Uni- 
versity of Munich. One of his teachers was the renowned 
Professor Dollinger. Leaving the University he prac- 
tised law a year or more, but finding it distasteful he re- 
turned to Munich to study philology and Oriental lan- 
guages. After spending fifteen years in the Univer- 
sity he came to America. This was in 1854. For 
forty years thereafter he pursued the occupation 
of teaching, serving in the following institutions: 
University of Wooster, Ohio, Ashland College, Ohio, 
and McPherson College, Kansas. His linguistic 
accomplishments covered a wide range, — German, 
French, Latin, Greek, Italian, and Anglo-Saxon. 
These he taught, but had equal mastery of the Hebrew 
and other tongues. Many eminent scholars, including 
college presidents, consulted him on various points. Upon 
the death of his wife, in 1896, he gave up teaching and 
gave his whole time to completing his "Notes on the New 
Testament." While laboring on the pages of this work 
he became an invalid. Reared a Lutheran, he early be- 
came dissatisfied with that faith. Coming in contact 
with the Brethren at Ashland College he decided to make 
a change of church relationship, making a public state- 
ment of his reasons in the college chapel. President 
Sharp baptized him near Ashland on Easter Sunday, 

Professor Huber's term of service in McPherson Col- 
lege extended from 1888 to 1894. He died on September 


1, 1898, at the home of one of his sons at North Branch, 
Minnesota. Professor Sharp, one of his most intimate 
colleagues, thus characterized him: "Of scrupulous 
honesty, liberal thought, abiding faith in both God and 
humanity, and abounding in charity — One of the fore- 
most scholars that ever united with our church, and one 
of the purest lives we ever knew." 


John Humbargar, son of Jacob and Elizabeth Snyder 
Humbargar, was born in Richland county, Ohio, on Oc- 
tober 10, 1833, and died at Navarre, Kansas, on May 31, 

In 1854, at Tipton, Iowa, he was united in marriage 
with Barbara Diltz. To this union were born twelve 
children, four of whom preceded him in death. His wife 
died on July 6, 1891. Two years later he married Han- 
nah Berkebile. 

In his youth, Brother Humbargar belonged to the 
Methodist church, but about the time of his first mar- 
riage he united with the Brethren. In 1859, with his wife 
and three children, he moved to Ottawa county, Kansas, 
making the trip with an ox team. After living in Ottawa 
county two years, they moved to a farm about two and 
one-half miles southeast of Abilene. With the exception 
of five years spent in Nebraska, he lived in Kansas the 
remainder of his days. 

At his log-house in 1869, the Abilene church was or- 
ganized. It was either on that occasion or in 1872, that 
he was elected to the ministry. In those days Jonas De- 
Haven was the only Brethren minister in this part of the 
state. It was Brother DeHaven who first suggested to 
Bro. Humbargar that the latter was destined to be called 
to higher work than the carpenter's trade which he was 
then following. In 1873, Bro. Humbargar was advanced 
to the second degree of the ministry. His ordination oc- 
curred soon afterwards. (June, 1874.) 

Brother Humbargar labored in the ministry for nearly 
half a century. The early Abilene church covered so 
much territory that he was compelled to travel over much 
of Dickinson, Marion, Ottawa, and Saline counties to visit 


the members. He was elder in charge of the congrega- 
tion until he felt unable to bear the burden. 

Brother Humbargar was a firm believer in the church 
and in her doctrines. He often left his work at home to 
attend to the duties pertaining to the ministry. In his 
death the church lost a faithful worker and the neighbor- 
hood a loyal citizen and benefactor. He lies sleeping in 
the Navarre cemetery. 


Andrew Hutchison, son of Samuel J. and Cynthia 
Hutchison, was born near Peterstown, Monroe county, 
West Virginia, on January 15, 1836. Not much is known 
of his ancestry, but his grandparents came from Scotland. 
His mother could not write her name at marriage. School 
facilities were so meager that Andrew received only six 
months' schooling. 

At the age of eighteen Andrew was thrown from a 
horse and injured internally, from which injury he never 
wholly recovered. This was the turning-point of his life 
work. It was in his nineteenth year that he entered school 
with his spelling book and first reader in hand. 

He united with the Brethren on December 19, 1858, 
and was called to the ministry in what is now the Spruce 
Run congregation, West Virginia, on October 20, 1860. 
He was ordained to the eldership in September, 1870. On 
August 31, 1862, he took for his wife Mary Crumpacker 
of Montgomery county, Virginia, who became the mother 
of eight children, three of whom died in infancy, and one 
of whom is the wife of Dr. S. J. Miller, former President 
of LaVerne College. Sister Hutchison passed away on 
December 17, 1916. 

Bro. Hutchison's faith was severely tested during the 
Civil War. At one time he was ordered to go into the 
Confederate army. On his way to get a physician for a 
sick man he came in contact with the commander of a 
division of the army, who commanded him at once to join 
the army or be shot within five minutes. He pled with 
the general, stating that he was a minister of the Gospel 
and also an invalid. Thereat he received from the officer 
a cursing and an order was given for three men to come 
forward and shoot him if he did not comply within the 


time. The men lined up and aimed. At this critical 
juncture a wagon master grabbed the officer by the throat 
and demanded that he countermand his order. After the 
officer had received a rather thorough shaking he ordered 
the guns down and Bro. Hutchison was allowed to go in 

In October, 1878, the Hutchison family moved to Cen- 
terview, Missouri, where they resided until 1890, when 
they moved to McPherson, Kansas, where they resided 
until 1913. They then went to live with the family of Dr. 
Miller in California. 

Bro. Hutchison has one of the longest evangelistic 
records in the Church of the Brethren. He has preached 
in practically every part of the Brotherhood. His vaca- 
tions have been few and of short duration. Many, es- 
pecially the older churches of Kansas, have engaged him 
for special services. 

Five times Bro. Hutchison has served on the Standing 
Committee of the Annual Conference, viz., in the years 
1879, 1881, 1882, 1890, and 1898. His figure has long 
been one of the most familiar and patriarchal at the An- 
nual Conference, which gathering it is his great delight 
to attend. 


John Ikenberry, son of Samuel and Lydia Flory Iken- 
berry, was born in Franklin county, Virginia, on January 
15, 1836. He grew up on the farm. At the age of eight- 
een he was baptized into the Church of the Brethren. On 
March 6, 1856, he married Susan Boitnott. He was soon 
called to the deacon's office and served in that capacity 
for a number of years. 

In 1867, Bro. Ikenberry and family moved to Iowa and 
settled in the Indian Creek congregation, where in the 
fall of the same year, he was called to the ministry. In 
1871, a move was made to Dodge county, Nebraska, near 
Great Bend, where his membership was placed in the 
Bell Creek congregation, thirty miles to the east. This 
congregation had only one other minister and Bro. Iken- 
berry often rode thirty miles on horseback to fill appoint- 
ments. Bell Creek church ordained him to the eldership. 
He often crossed the Platte river on a skiff in his efforts 
to preach for the scattered members. 


In 1886, he, with five other families, moved to Quin- 
ter, Kansas. Rapid immigration made possible the organ- 
ization of a church at Quinter that same year. Bro. Iken- 
berry became the first elder and served for six years. In 
1891, he served on the Standing Committee of Annual 
Conference. He did much traveling about the district 
on various church work, receiving no compensation there- 
for. In 1892, because of "hard times," he returned to 
Nebraska, locating in the Bethel congregation, where he 
lived seven years. 

Returning to Quinter in the spring of 1899, he was 
given the oversight of the church until old age and failing 
eyesight impelled him to resign. For a number of years 
he was a patient sufferer from cancer. This, together 
with his blindness, made him anxious to go to his reward. 
He departed this life on October 8, 1910. 


Alender Ives, usually known as Allen Ives, was 
born at Lafayette, Indiana, on February 15, 1828. His 
father was drowned when the boy was five years old. The 
mother was forced to place the boy among strangers. He 
had but little chance to secure an education. On Novem- 
ber 2, 1848, he was united in marriage with Mary Deeter 
of Covington, Ohio. To this union were born twelve 
children, of whom five were living at the time of Bro. 
Ives' demise. 

At the age of twenty-two, at Newton, Ohio, Allen 
Ives accepted Christ as his Savior. At the age of twenty- 
five he was elected a deacon in the church. After serv- 
ing acceptably in that office for three years he was called 
to the ministry by the church at Marshalltown, Iowa. 

In the spring of 1871, Bro. Ives and wife came with 
two other families and settled where the town of Burr 
Oak now is. He straightway took up the work of the 
ministry with zeal and preached extensively in northern 
Kansas. His companion preacher in these early days was 
James L. Switzer. Together they organized the churches 
of Belleville, Burr Oak, North Solomon, South Solomon, 
and White Rock. Their united work extended over a 
period of thirteen years. He was ordained in the Burr 
Oak church on June 20, 1874, by John Forney and Samuel 


C. Stump. Although not a fluent speaker, yet he im- 
pressed one as a man who was deeply in earnest and as 
one who believed what he was saying. His home was the 
shelter for hundreds of people. It was a veritable "free 
hotel." His last years, marked by financial losses, phys- 
ical debility, etc., brought no murmur from his lips. 

Moving to Washington state in 1895, he became the 
father of the Centralia church. In 1880, he had preached 
the first sermon ever preached in that state by a minister 
of the Church of the Brethren. He was also one of the 
first to preach in Oregon. His declining years were spent 
at Centralia with his children. He passed away on July 
17, 1911. 

Allen Ives will always be remembered as one of the 
most typical of the pioneer Brethren in Kansas. His large 
part in dispensing aid to the needy in the "grasshopper 
year" is noted elsewhere in this book. He was a man of 
gentle and yielding nature and would allow himself to be 
wronged rather than defend himself. This probably ac- 
counts for the loss of his property. His life was simply 
"Job's case in the present century." 


Eleazar Edward John, the oldest of a family of eight 
children, is the son of John and Mary J. McDonald John 
— the parents of Scotch-Irish-Welsh lineage. He was 
born near McDonald's Mill in Roanoke county, Virginia, 
on August 3, 1856. He spent his boyhood days near the 
headwaters of the north fork of the Roanoke river. His 
father was a blacksmith as was also his grandfather, and 
in his later teens he also learned that trade, which he fol- 
lowed for thirty-three years. There were few opportun- 
ities for an education. At the age of fourteen, E. E. John 
helped build the first public school building erected in his 
community. Later he attended this school for fifteen 
months, all of the formal schooling which he received. 
This school house, built of logs, is still standing. Later, 
E. E. assisted in the erection of the Johnsville Brethren 

In the winter of 1880, in the Johnsville congregation, 
under the Gospel preaching of Elder B. F. Moomaw, of 
sacred memory, E. E. united with the Brethren, baptism 


being administered by Eld. D. C. Moomaw. On April 24, 
1893, Bro. John was united in marriage with Miss Sarah 
Margaret Coon, daughter of Patterson and Nancy Barn- 
hart Coon of Cave Spring, Virginia, six miles from Salem. 
To this union have been born six children: Dewey E. 
(1884), Frank P. (1885), Nancy M., (1887), Griffith M. 
(1889), Olen J. (1894), and Arminta Ruth (1899). 
Frank P. was called to the ministry while a student at 
McPherson College. His untimely death from the dread 
disease of tuberculosis occurred on July 25, 1911. Grif- 
fith M. is in government service in the Philippine Islands. 

In October, 1883, the Johnsville congregation called 
Bro. John to the ministry. The same congregation ad- 
vanced him in 1884. In 1885, he superintended the first 
Sunday School ever organized in his congregation. In 
March, 1887, he moved to Cave Spring, Virginia, and 
from there, in October, 1889, to the Mineral Creek church 
at Leeton, Missouri. 

The years spent at Leeton were busy ones for Bro. 
John. Six days a week were spent at the forge, except 
when a call came to preach a funeral sermon or perform 
a marriage ceremony, or when necessity arose of making 
an early start for one of his two outpost appointments, 
one of which meant a twenty mile ride on horseback and 
the other thirty. He also "took his turn" with the local 
ministers at Mineral Creek. On August 17, 1893, this 
congregation ordained him to the eldership. In 1902 and 
1908, he represented Middle Missouri on the Standing 
Committe of Annual Conference. 

In March, 1909, Bro. John moved with his family to 
McPherson, Kansas. In December of the same year he 
succeeded E. D. Root as superintendent of the Child Res- 
cue Work of Kansas. In this position he has been ever 
since, traveling all over the state and extending a helping 
hand to scores of unfortunate children and placing them 
in homes qualified to give them the proper Christian 

On January 2, 1911, Bro. John succeeded I. S. Bruba- 
ker as elder in charge of the McPherson church. He is still 
(1921) serving as elder, and occasionally happens to be 
home opportunely to deliver a forceful address to a con- 


gregation of appreciative members, many of whom are 
students of the college. For several years Bro. John has 
been treasurer of the Child Rescue Committee of the 
Church of the Brethren. 


William Johnson was born on November 13, 1835, 
near Masontown, Fayette county, Pennsylvania. He is 
the son of Peter and Barbara Hunsaker Johnson. The 
Johnsons were of Scotch-Irish descent. William's great 
grandfather was left an orphan at the age of two years, 
his parents having both died on the ship on their way to 
America. Barbara Hunsaker was the daughter of Nich- 
olas Hunsaker, who was a brother-in-law to Elder George 
W^olfe. Peter Johnson, the father of the subject of this 
sketch, was born in Rockingham county, Virginia, on June 
20, 1802. He, however, removed to Pennsylvania and op- 
erated a saw-mill on Jacob's Creek about two miles from 
the Monongahela river, in Fayette county. 

Nothing unusual can be said of the boyhood of Wil- 
liam Johnson. He worked on the farm and went to school 
when there was no farm work to do. He attended school 
at Dogwood Hollow when James Quinter was the teacher, 
making fair progress in his studies. In the winter of 1847, 
he parched corn which was ground and sent to the needy 
in Ireland. In 1849, his father built a foundry and the 
lad learned the moulding trade. The foundry turned out 
plows, stoves, cane mills, pots, kettles, etc. 

On December 5, 1861, William was united in marriage 
with Rebecca DeBolt, daughter of John DeBolt, of French 
descent and a deacon in the Church of the Brethren. 
Deacon DeBolt often accompanied James Quinter as 
evangelistic singer. Rebecca Johnson was baptized on 
July 2, 1865; William, on July 30, 1865. The latter was 
elected to the ministry in the Georges Creek congregation, 
Pa., on May 12, 1872. On September 2, 1874, he was ad- 
vanced in office by the same congregation. He followed 
the carpenter's trade during the week and preached on 
Sundays. It was while he lived in the Sugar Creek con- 
gregation in Ohio that the division of 1881 occurred, but 
that congregation lost no members. In 1884, Bro. John- 


son was ordained to the eldership in the Sugar Creek 

Elder Johnson moved with his family to Kansas in 
1885, settling at Conway Springs. While living here he 
did considerable preaching and also worked at his trade. 
He built the church at Conway Springs in 1886. In 1890, 
he moved to Wichita and started the mission work of the 
Brethren in that city. The work made good progress. 
Bro. Johnson was elder in charge at Wichita from 1890 
to 1903. In 1898, he helped build the upper story of 
Sharp Administration Building at McPherson College. 
In 1906, he helped erect the Carnegie Library at that in- 
stitution. Elder Johnson and wife are spending their de- 
clining years in Wichita. 

All of Elder Johnson's eight children are yet (1921) 
living. Four of them are in the city of Wichita. Two of 
them are graduates of McPherson College. 


Jesse Edwin Jones was born on January 12, 1872, at 
Grundy Center, Iowa. He was the eighth in a family of 
nine children, three of whom died in infancy. His father, 
Thomas J. Jones, was a deacon in the Church of the 
Brethren for many years. His mother's maiden name was 
Mary A. Hart. For several years J. Edwin worked on the 
farm, helping support his parents and earning money to 
attend Mount Morris College. He spent two years in 
Mount Morris, finishing the commercial course in June, 
1892. For several months thereafter he was a stenog- 
rapher in Chicago. 

J. Edwin united with the Church of the Brethren at 
Mount Morris during a revival held by President J. G. 
Royer. He was called to the ministry at Grundy Center, 
Iowa, on April 4, 1896. He served very acceptably in 
this office in the Grundy Center and Ivester congrega- 
tions. He preached without remuneration and did not 
lay up this world's goods. His ordination occurred in 
December, 1906. 

On September 12, 1894, Bro. Jones was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Etta Maria Strickler of Grundy Center, 
Iowa. To this union were born three sons and one 
daughter: J. Estel, Galen, Salome, and Oliver. Estel and 


Galen are both graduates of McPherson College. They 
were both called to the ministry by the McPherson church 
on April 19, 1915. 

In 1908, Bro. Jones received a call from the Mission 
Board of Southwestern Kansas and Southeastern Colorado 
to cake up the work of the Larned Mission. On Decem- 
ber 9, of that year the family arrived at Larned. Since 
there was no church building available services were held 
in the home of the pastor for about a year. Early in 1909, 
work was begun on a substantial brick church building 
on East Seventh Street. There were nineteen members 
in the city when Bro. Jones took charge. The work pros- 
pered and twenty-eight were added to the fold. In 1914, 
Bro. Jones was called by the Mission Board to take charge 
of the work in Wichita. Here he did valiant service un- 
til called from his labors. 

While in Kansas, Bro. Jones made himself one of the 
most sought after men in the district. At various times 
from 1908 to 1916, he was elder in charge of the churches 
of Larned City, Salem, Conway Springs, and the East and 
West Wichita congregations. At District Conference he 
was always a conspicuous figure, several times being an 
officer. In 1916, he represented his district on the Stand- 
ing Committee of the Annual Conference which met at 
Winona Lake, Indiana. 

Bro. Jones was very much interested in McPherson 
College. He was a faithful attendant at the annual Bible 
Institutes. In 1913, when the Board of Trustees was en- 
larged and the church took active control of the school, 
he was chosen trustee at large from his district. From 
the first he was an aggressive member of the Board. He 
was a natural student. While pastor at Larned he took 
two Bible correspondence courses and always attempted 
to supplement his lack of college training by careful 

But disease had fastened itself upon him, and on No- 
vember 6, 1916, as the result of an operation and at the 
end of six weeks of suffering, he passed away into the 
Great Beyond, sincerely mourned by a host of friends. 
On November 8, the funeral services were held in Wichita. 
Dr. A. J. Culler, pastor of the McPherson church, 


preached the sermon and President Kurtz of McPherson 
College and Rev. Kitch of Grace Methodist Church of 
Wichita, spoke fitting words of appreciation of the life 
and work of the deceased. The loss of Elder Jones was 
indeed a heavy one for the Brethren of the District and 
of the whole state. 


Michael Keller is a native of Pennsylvania. He was 
born on September 14, 1850, near St. Thomas, Franklin 
county. He is the son of George and Elizabeth Sollen- 
berger Keller, well-to-do and highly respected citizens 
of that part of the state. The toil incident to farmer life 
prevented the lad's securing more than the ordinary com- 
mon school education, a fact which he deeply regrets. 
When Michael was five years of age his father died and 
he was sent to live with his Grandfather Sollenberger, a 
good loyal member of the Church of the Brethren, with 
whom he staid until the spring of 1866, when he re- 
turned to his mother and removed with her to New En- 
terprise, Pennsylvania. On August 29, 1869, he was bap- 
tized into the Church of the Brethren by Elder S. A. 

On November 2, 1875, Bro. Keller was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Elizabeth Clapper, daughter of the late 
Elder Henry Clapper of Yellow Creek, Pennsylvania. To 
this union have been born one daughter and two sons. 
The youngest son passed away in infancy. In the spring 
of 1880, the Kellers moved to Yellow Creek, where on the 
third of May, of the same year, Bro. Keller was called to 
the office of deacon. In the spring of 1885, another move 
was made, this time to Washburn, Illinois. This was a 
mission point within the bounds of the Oak Grove con- 

Bro. Keller and wife came to Kansas in the spring of 
1886, settling near Great Bend in Barton county. On Feb- 
ruary 1, 1887, he was called to the ministry in the Walnut 
Valley church. On April 28, 1888, he was advanced to 
the second degree of the ministry by the same church. 
His ordination at Walnut Valley took place on October 
26, 1891, Elders Daniel Vaniman and Enoch Eby having 
the work in charge. 


Bro. Keller has truly magnified his ministry. He has 
been kept busy with the work of the Kingdom. He had 
attended up to 1919, twenty-nine Annual Conferences. 
Five times (1898, 1902, 1907, 1909, and 1912) 
he has served on the Standing Committee at the 
Annual Conference. In 1898, Annual Conference 
appointed him a member of the school visiting 
committee, and thus he was one of the three 
annual visitors of McPherson College. In 1908, the 
appointment of the General Educational Board termin- 
ated the duties of the Conference visitors. The District 
Conference would not seem natural without the presence 
of Elder Keller. His usefulness has been repeatedly rec- 
ognized by that gathering and he has served on various 
committees. He has held a number of revival meetings. 
He is much interested in Bible study and is a regular at- 
tendant with his wife at the Bible Institutes of McPher- 
son College. 

Bro. Keller's experience as an elder has been varied. 
At different times he has been in charge of the following 
congregations: Walnut Valley, Eden Valley, East Mc- 
Pherson, Peabody, Salem, Kansas Center, Prowers 
(Colo.), Prairie View, Garden City, and Larned. He is 
now living at Larned and is identified with the Larned 
rural church. 


William Amos Kinzie is the son of James T. and Eliza- 
beth Henrietta Fishburn Kinzie. James T. Kinzie was 
born in Roanoke county, Virginia, on January 29, 1843. 
Early in life he united with the Brethren and served as 
a deacon for many years. In the fall of 1859, he ventured 
to leave the hills of the Old Dominion and located on the 
plains of Kansas, settling near Lawrence, in Douglas 
county. He married Miss Fishburn, formerly of Botetourt 
county, Virginia, on January 9, 1873, she being his second 

The subject of this sketch was born on November 30, 
1873. The mother, however, was stricken with typhoid 
fever and passed away on November 6, 1874, leaving the 
eleven months old child to the care of his Grandmother 
Fishburn until April 6, 1876, when Mary C. Kinzie be- 
came his step-mother. 


As W. A. grew older he spent the summer months 
working on the farm and the winters in attending the 
country school. In the fall of 1891, he enrolled in Mc- 
Pherson College. It was during a meeting held in the 
college chapel by Andrew Hutchison, that he accepted 
Christ, baptism being administered by A. W. Vaniman 
(November 6, 1891). The call of the farm and the open 
country did not permit the taking of more school work 
at this time. Feeling that he "knew enough to farm", 
W. A. returned to till the soil in Douglas county. 

On December 20, 1893, Bro. Kinzie was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Christena Maud Bond of Douglas county, 
and in the spring of 1894, they settled on the old home- 
stead in the Washington Creek community. Three sons 
and one daughter have blessed this union. Roy is a 
graduate of the academy of McPherson College and has 
taught. Archie is a farmer, and Lila and Earl are still in 

Bro. Kinzie was elected deacon in the Washington 
Creek church on June 2, 1902. On March 12, 1904, he 
was called to the ministry. On December 17, 1904, he 
was advanced in office. His ordination took place on 
December 12, 1908. For several years he was elder in 
charge of the Washington Creek congregation, serving 
until December, 1915. His home community never failed 
to express its appreciation for his ministerial work. 

Bro. Kinzie has served the church in various capaci- 
ties. For eight years he was clerk of the District of 
Northeastern Kansas. He was Sunday School Secretary in 
1917. He represented that district on the Standing Com- 
mittee of Annual Conference in 1915. He served the 
Newton church (city) as its first elder. From 1912 to 
1916, he was one of the trustees of McPherson College. 
The demands for evangelistic meetings have come thick 
and fast to Bro. Kinzie and his talent has found pleasur- 
able expression in winning souls for the Kingdom. He 
has had a high degree of success as an evangelist. 

In the fall of 1911, Bro. Kinzie reentered McPherson 
College, and with some interruptions pursued his studies, 
chiefly in the Bible, until May, 1918, when he was gradu- 
ated with the degree Bachelor of Sacred Literature. On 


April 1, 1918, while still in school, he accepted a call 
from the Salem church at Nickerson, Kansas, and entered 
upon the pastorate, moving to the parsonage at that place 
on May 20. He served the church both as pastor and 
elder. His pastorship has been signalized by additions 
to the membership and by the completion of a fine 
$30,000 church. 


Daniel Webster Kurtz is the son of Elder John and 
Mary Bollinger Kurtz. The father was born in Lebanon 
county, Pennsylvania, in 1831, emigrated to Ohio in 1854, 
and was for many years elder of the East Nimishillen 
church. He passed to his reward in 1901. The mother 
was born in Stark county, Ohio. She survived until just 
a few years ago. Her four brothers were ministers or 
school teachers. 

Daniel Webster Kurtz was born on October 9, 1879, 
in Stark county, Ohio, where he spent his youth on his 
father's farm, attended the district school, and became 
indoctrinated in those simple principles of the faith of 
which he was later to become so able an exponent. He 
is the youngest of a large family of children. He entered 
the church thru baptism administered by his father on 
May 5, 1899. 

Brother Kurtz has had an educational career which 
finds few if any parallels in the Church of the Brethren. 
In 1897, he attended Ohio Northern University, following 
this by four years study in Mount Union College, Ohio. 
Later he entered Juniata College, where in 1905, he fin- 
ished the college course with the degree Bachelor of Arts. 
Immediately he became recognized as one of Juniata's 
most distinguished sons. Starting forthwith upon gradu- 
ate work he matriculated at Yale University, where he 
made an unusual record as a student, both in the school of 
Arts and in that of Divinity. In 1908, Yale gave him the 
A. M. degree and also the B. D., adding a year's fellow- 
ship for foreign travel. While at Yale he won prizes re- 
peatedly, and by this means and by preaching he man- 
aged to complete his courses. 

The Yale fellowship took him to Germany, where he 
spent the years 1908 and 1909, in the universities of Leip- 


zig, Berlin, and Marburg, studying Philosophy and The- 
ology. His mastery of the German language was marvel- 
ous and enabled him to bring back information relative 
to the Fatherland which was to prove helpful to him in 
later years on the lecture platform. In 1910-1911, he 
studied in the University of Pennsylvania. In 1911, his 
alma mater, Juniata College, conferred upon him the de- 
gree Doctor of Divinity. 

Doctor Kurtz has traveled extensively abroad. In 
1908-1909, he toured Germany, Switzerland, Italy, Bel- 
gium, France, Holland, England, and Scotland. In 1913, 
in addition to attending the World's Sunday School Con- 
vention at Zurich, he, with his wife, spent some time in 
Algeria, Egypt, Palestine, Damascus, North Syria, Asia 
Minor, Turkey, Greece, and all the European countries 
covered in the first trip. 

Doctor Kurtz is a ready writer as well as a most elo- 
quent lecturer. In 1911, he wrote "Outlines of the Fun- 
damental Doctrines of Faith." This book had a deserv- 
edly large sale. In 1914, his "Nineteen Centuries of the 
Christian Church" appeared. In 1918, the Sunday School 
Board of the Church of the Brethren published a work on 
doctrine to which Dr. Kurtz contributed a part. He has 
refused many high salaried positions with educational in- 
stitutions, chautauquas, lyceum bureaus, etc., where his 
gift as a public speaker has made his services sought after. 
Every year he is compelled to decline scores of invitations 
to give addresses, the demand being so great. For a few 
years he was one of the contributing editors of the Gos- 
pel Messenger. 

In October, 1904, Dr. Kurtz was called to the Gospel 
ministry in the Huntingdon church, Pa., and was installed 
on December 20, of the same year. On April 14, 1906, he 
was advanced while in Brooklyn, New York. His ordina- 
tion occurred in Philadelphia on May 20, 1914- He was 
pastor of the First Church of the Brethren in Philadelphia 
from April, 1910 ; to July, 1914, having accepted this po- 
sition after one-half year's service as professor of Greek 
and Philosophy in Juniata College. He represented 
Southwestern Kansas and Southeastern Colorado on the 
Standing Committee of Annual Conference in 1915, 1918, 


and 1920. He was Reading Clerk at the Sedalia Confer- 
ence in 1920. 

On July 1, 1914, Dr. Kurtz assumed the office of Pres- 
ident of McPherson College, — a date marking a new 
epoch in his life as well as in the history of the institution. 
Since that time he has done heroic work in the interest of 
Christian education. Educators in Kansas and surround- 
ing states took note of a distinctively forceful and schol- 
arly personality which had come into their midst. Dr. 
Kurtz counts as his friends many of the foremost 
thinkers of the present day. Multitudes of students have 
been attracted to McPherson because of his teaching, and 
as many have gone forth inspired by his messages, for 
he is decidedly an inspirational teacher. His specialties 
are Philosophy and Theism. 

Some of the larger aspects of his work in the college 
appear in connection with the chapter on that subject, 
but it may be here stated that the standardization of the 
school, its entrance into the North Central Association, 
and the raising of the endowment fund to its present size 
are due chiefly to his efforts. He is an ideal money- 
raiser, being thoroughly enthusiastic in the cause and set- 
ting a good example by first investing liberally himself. 
He is strong in administration, inspiring his colleagues on 
the faculty to their utmost endeavor, and directing the 
students toward a genuine Christian idealism. 

Since June, 1915, Dr. Kurtz has been Chairman of the 
General Educational Board, a field which has opened to 
him opportunities to bring the claims of Christian educa- 
tion before ever enlarging audiences. In 1918, he was 
elected President of the State Sunday Schopl Association 
of Kansas, and soon thereafter became one of the Vice- 
Presidents of the International Association. 

Dr. Kurtz was united in marriage on September 7, 
1909, to Miss Ethel Leonora Wheeler, of Monroe (near 
Bridgeport), Conn. Mrs. Kurtz is a direct descendant of 
Jonathan Edwards, the great preacher of colonial days. 
There are three sons — Albert Wheeler, Royce Emerson, 
and Bernard Robertson. 

Dr. Kurtz is vitally interested in every movement for 
social uplift. As one of the leading citizens of McPherson 


he is often called upon to take a prominent part in local 
enterprises. This he always does, and his leadership in- 
sures a degree of success which few could attain. 

In the fall of 1920, Dr. and Mrs. Kurtz went to Tokyo, 
Japan, to attend the World's Sunday School Convention. 
Dr. Kurtz was one of the leading speakers at this great 


George Myers Lauver, son of Henry and Hannah 
Landis Lauver, was born on November 16, 1871, in Juniata 
county, Pennsylvania. With his parents he came to Kansas 
in 1879 and located near Paola in Miami county. On Octo- 
ber 20, 1894, in the Wade Branch congregation, he was 
called to the ministry. He spent some time in McPherson 
College and taught school. In 1897, he was graduated from 
the Normal department of the college with the degree 
Bachelor of Scientific Didactics. He later finished two years 
of college work. Subsequently, he attended the University 
of Nebraska and in May, 1903, received the A.B. degree 
from that institution. 

Bro. Lauver entered Bethany Bible School soon after 
its opening and received the B.D. degree upon graduation. 
In the fall term of 1908, he became one of the teachers at 
Bethany and continued in that capacity until his death. 
Among the subjects which he taught were Greek, Church 
History, Missions, and Sunday School Pedagogy. He sup- 
plemented his work at Bethany with some post-graduate 
work in the University of Chicago. Some time was also 
spent in doing field work for Bethany in the nature of Bible 
Institutes in the local congregations. Particularly was he 
active in the West. On October 10, 1909, Bro. Lauver was 
ordained in Chicago. 

On August 6, 1899, Bro. Lauver took for his wife Miss 
Sarah A. Hawk of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. Three daugh- 
ters and one son came into their home. 

In addition to the activities already mentioned, Bro. 
Lauver at different times served as pastor in Lincoln, Ne- 
braska, and in Batavia, Illinois. Bethany Bible School lost 
one of her most promising men when, on March 17, 1912, 
after a long and painful illness, Bro. Lauver passed into the 
Great Beyond. 



William Henry Leaman, son of Daniel and Catherine 
Leaman, was born at Ashland, Ohio, on October 22, 1859. 
He was one of the early students of Ashland College. It 
was at Ashland, too, that in 1877, he became a member of 
the Church of the Brethren. In 1886, he moved with his 
parents to Kansas, locating at Madison. Here, in the Ver- 
digris church, on September 11, 1886, he was elected to the 
ministry. He was advanced by the same church on October 
I, 1887, and ordained in December, 1902. On September 
9, 1886, he was married to Sarah A. Rockley. To this union 
were born six children, two of whom died in infancy. In 
1906, he located at Monmouth in Crawford county, which 
place was to be his home until his death. For several years 
he was District Evangelist for Southeastern Kansas. At 
different times he was elder in charge of the churches of 
Verdigris, Chanute, Meriden, Spring Creek, and Manvel 
(Texas). At the time of his death he was in charge of the 
Osage and Parsons churches. Southeastern Kansas had 
elected Bro. Leaman to serve on the Standing Committee 
of the Annual Conference of 1913, but about ten days before 
Conference he became ill and went to El Dorado Springs, 
Missouri, from which place he was barely able to return 
home. He passed away at his home on June 7, 1913. He 
was survived by his wife, his son, W. Schuyler, his daugh- 
ters, Mrs. Lenore Suppee, and Flora and Mabel Leaman. 
One of his friends speaks of Bro. Leaman in these words: 
"Bro. Leaman was a good preacher. Indeed, we would call 
him one above the average. He had the interest of the 
church at heart, yet with all this he was brotherly in his 
attitude toward others who differed with him along some 
lines of doctrine. — While he loved the mercantile busi- 
ness, he loved the Master's business still more. — He was 
always clear in his Christian experience. ,, 


Frank Eldon McCune, son of Elder R. F. and Mary 
Rowland McCune, was born near Lanark, Illinois, on August 
15, 1882, the youngest of a family of five children. Within 
two years after his birth the family moved to Dallas Cen- 
ter, Iowa, where he grew to manhood. His education was 
secured in the country school and in the grammar school 


in town. At the age of fifteen he united with the Church 
of the Brethren- 

Because of the precarious condition of the mother's 
health, the family moved to McPherson, Kansas, in 1901, 
remaining at that place one year. This year Frank spent 
as a student in McPherson College. At the close of the 
school year the McCunes moved to Ottawa, Kansas, where 
the mother finally passed away and where the father still 
(1921) resides. Next, Frank entered Ottawa University, 
spending five years in that institution of learning and taking 
the A.B. degree with the class of 1907. On October 14, 1906, 
he was elected to the ministry by the Ottawa church. He 
taught school two years, serving as principal at Pomona 
and Osawatomie. 

Going West in 1909, Bro. McCune taught a year in the 
Berean Bible School in Los Angeles. The next three years 
he was Sunday School Secretary of the district of North- 
eastern Kansas, also doing considerable evangelistic work 
at the same time. Then he spent about two full years in 
Bethany Bible School, Chicago. 

On August 27, 1913, Bro. McCune was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Ona May Hogan of Norborne, Missouri. 
There are two children. In June, 1914, Bro. McCune be- 
came pastor of the Muncie church, Indiana, continuing in 
this place until the summer of 1916, when he accepted a 
similar position at Lawrence, Kansas. While at Muncie he 
was ordained to the eldership. In the fall of 1916, he be- 
came a trustee of McPherson College, representing North- 
eastern Kansas. Since October, 1919, he has been pastor of 
the church at Mount Morris, Illinois. 


George Manon was born on September 9, 1854, near 
Williams Center, Williams county, Ohio, about eighteen 
miles from old Fort Defiance and about four miles from the 
Lick Creek church. He is not of Brethren ancestry. His 
mother was of a family of staunch Methodists who were 
of some importance in the community. The parents, Hugh 
and Lydia Bender Manon, were both from Franklin county, 

When George was twelve years old his mother died. 
From boyhood the young man was interested in Sunday 


School work, and long before he became a Christian he was 
a teacher in a Union Sunday School. He was thus of marked 
religious inclinations. On December 24, 1876, soon after 
returning from a trip to the Centennial Exposition at Phila- 
delphia, he was united in marriage with Miss Sarah Jaques 
of his home community. 

In February, 1878, the Manons made their advent into 
Kansas, settling three miles east of the town of Gypsum, 
where they resided until the fall of 1918, when they moved 
for a short time to McPherson. On April 28, 1888, George 
was baptized into the Church of the Brethren in the Abilene 
congregation, Elder J. D. Trostle administering the rite. 
With this church he has been intimately connected since 
that time. On October 17, 1889, he was elected to the min- 
istry at a meeting held in the basement of the unfinished 
Navarre church. His advancement occurred on May 18, 
1892. On May 16, 1897, with Elders John Forney and 
Jacob B. Shirk officiating, he was ordained to the eldership. 

It was about this time that Bro. Manon entered upon 
his evangelistic career. Appointed district evangelist for 
Northeastern Kansas in 1899, he soon became known as a 
successful winner of souls. His old home community in 
Ohio, hearing of his success, asked that he come back and 
give them a revival. He did so and one of the converts of 
the effort was his own father, who at this time was almost 
seventy years of age. Bro. Manon has preached extensively 
for the Brethren in Kansas, Missouri, and Iowa, his own dis- 
trict being most often the field of his endeavor. 

Bro. Manon has been valuable to the church in many 
capacities. In the last fifteen years (to 1919) he has been 
moderator of the District Conference at least nine times. 
Five times he has represented Northeastern Kansas on the 
Standing Committee of the Annual Conference (1902, 1905, 
1908, 1916, and 1919). Several times he has been on the 
Credentials Committee of the same body. Since 1915, he 
has served on the District Mission Board. For several years 
he was on the Visiting Committee appointed by Annual Con- 
ference to visit McPherson College. Since about 1900, he 
has been elder in charge of the Abilene church. The 
churches of Topeka and Cottonwood have also at different 
times been under his care. 

Bro. and Sister Manon are the parents of three chil- 


dren, of whom a daughter survives. One of the twin sons 
died in infancy and the other passed away in the prime 
of life in 1909. 

For many years Bro. Manon was a prominent farmer, 
and associated with his brother, was one of the leading 
stock shippers of his community. But he has always made 
his business interests subordinate to the greater interests 
of the Kingdom of God. 

In the spring of 1919, Bro. Manon purchased a residence 
in Abilene, where, with his wife and daughter, he now 
(1921) makes his home. 


Howard Miller was born at Lewisburg, Pennsylvania, 
on December 21, 1849. He was the son of John P. and Jane 
Alexander Miller, both of whom came to America from Ire- 
land. Because of the death of his mother while he was 
quite young, his aunt, Sarah Donachy, had much to do with 
his rearing. 

Howard never attended public school but was educated 
at the Old Academy at Lewisburg. At sixteen he began 
teaching at Laurelton, near Lewisburg. Teaching was 
henceforth largely his life occupation. He was early asso- 
ciated with Lewis Kimmel in the Plum Creek Normal 
School. Later, he taught at Elk Lick, Pennsylvania, and 
here he was baptized into the Church of the Brethren, Elder 
S. C. Keim administering the rite. He was elected to the 
ministry on September 14, 1877, and later advanced in that 

In 1880, Bro. Miller was elected to a professorship in 
Mount Morris College, but the delay in the delivery of the 
telegram caused him to make other arrangements. He was 
government agent to examine Civil War soldiers who applied 
for pensions. This took him to the South during recon- 
struction days. So clever a student and writer was he that 
his articles written at this time on conditions in the South 
gained a wide reading. He became U. S. Census Commis- 
sioner, and after completing his duties in connection there- 
with was retained by the government to take a census of 
all the non-resistant denominations. In 1882, he published 
a pamphlet entitled "The Record of the Faithful, ,, contain- 
ing a directory and statistical tables of the Church of the 


Brethren. For a while he was land commissioner in 
Mexico. At different times he was in the employ of the 
various railroad companies, some of his last days being 
spent in writing special advertising for the Santa Fe Rail- 
road Company. 

In 1888, Bro. Miller became professor of English in 
McPherson College, and although he remained here but a 
few months, tradition has many pleasing anecdotes of his 
strong and winning personality. He is still affectionately 
remembered by the title "Uncle Howard." In 1891, McPher- 
son College conferred upon him the Ph.D. degree. 

In 1900, after editing the Landmark he assumed the 
editorship of the Inglenook, which position he held for 
slightly over seven years. As a writer he is described by 
Elder J. H. Moore as "probably the best known to the Broth- 
erhood." In the seventies and eighties he wrote for the 
Brethren at Work and so straightforward and clear-cut 
were his articles that they probably prevented a still 
worse rupture than that which actually occurred in 1881. 
He was a prophet of a better day. (See Holsinger's Histo- 
ry of the Tunkers, pp. 509-514). His firm stand for the 
principles of the Brethren is all the more remarkable 
when we reflect that he was once tempted to doubt the 
truths of the Bible and was for a time a correspondent of 
Charles Darwin. He was an inveterate reader and thor- 
ough scientist. His mastery of English literature was re- 

On March 17, 1871, Professor Miller was united in mar- 
riage with Letitia J. Sanders of Wellsburg, West Virginia. 
There were two children born to this union — Edward and 
Maude. For twenty years their home was at Lewisburg, 
Pennsylvania, where Professor Miller amassed a fine library 
of some seven or eight thousand volumes. It was at this 
place, too, that Sister Miller passed away on May 11, 1897. 

Professor Miller suffered from a sunstroke the sum- 
mer before his death, and this, in connection with heart 
trouble, hastened the end. His daughter, Mrs. W. A. Von 
Plees of Lombard, Illinois, acted as his nurse during the 
last days, and it was at her home that he unflinchingly 
passed away on May 19, 1907, mourned by scores of ac- 
quaintances and friends. 



Samuel J. Miller was born on a farm in the western part 
of LaGrange county, Indiana, on December 2, 1863. He is 
the son of Joseph C. and Barbara Yoder Miller. His early 
educational advantages were limited. Until he was eighteen 
his time was divided about equally between the district 
school and the farm. The parents were of good old Men- 
nonite stock. 

It happened that about the time he was qualified to 
begin teaching his parents moved to McPherson county and 
settled on a farm. For a time they lived in a "dug-out. " 
For several years S. J. engaged in teaching, farming, and 
clerking. Several times he arranged to attend the State 
Normal at Emporia, but too great demands were made upon 
his supply of money to permit his attending school. Finally, 
however, in March, 1889, along with J. J. Yoder, he entered 
McPherson College, where he remained for the spring term 
of twelve weeks. The story of how he pursued his college 
course until his graduation with the B. S. degree in 1895, 
is a long one, and one characterized by the utmost of sac- 
rifice and self-denial. His college course was followed by 
post-graduate work done in the University of Kansas, from 
which he received the Master of Arts degree in 1897. 

From 1897 to 1899, Professor Miller taught in Cali- 
fornia, the first year in Lordsburg (now LaVerne) College 
and the next in Redlands. In the summer of 1899, he be- 
came field worker for McPherson College. After one year 
at this work he became professor of English in the College, 
which position he filled for the next seven years. During 
summer vacations he proved to be an invaluable field agent 
and solicitor for the college. 

Broken in health, in 1907, he secured a leave of absence 
and engaged in other pursuits. In the fall of 1910, he re- 
turned to McPherson College, after having spent one sum- 
mer in the University of Chicago. For two years he re- 
mained connected with the college, during the last of which 
he was acting president of the institution. In 1912, he was 
compelled to give up school work and seek relief in the West. 
Going to California, he bought a ranch near L,indsay, where 
he began to recuperate, when, as the result of a series of 
lectures given at LaVerne College, he was called to the 


presidency of that institution. This position he filled with 
great credit until 1921. 

In 1890, Professor Miller united with the Church of 
the Brethren in the Monitor congregation. The next year 
he was elected to the ministry. In 1899, the same congre- 
gation ordained him to the eldership. In 1906, he repre- 
sented his district on the Standing Committee of the An- 
nual Conference. For some years he was Sunday School 
Secretary of Southwestern Kansas and Southeastern Col- 
orado and also a member of the State Sunday School Ex- 
ecutive Committee of Kansas. He was for a time a mem- 
ber of the Sunday School Advisory Committee of Annual 

Soon after finishing his course in the University of 
Kansas, in 1897, Professor Miller was united in marriage 
with Miss Modena Hutchison, daughter of Andrew Hutchi- 
son, so well known among the Brethren. Three daughters 
have been born to this union. 

In 1915, McPherson College, out of recognition of his 
long and faithful services to education in the Church of the 
Brethren, conferred upon Professor Miller the degree Doctor 
of Humane Letters. 


Moses J. Mishler, son of Joseph C. and Rachel Living- 
stone Mishler, was born at Johnstown, Somerset county, 
Pa., on August 14, 1870. In the spring of 1878 he moved 
with his parents to LaGrange, LaGrange county, Indiana. 
In the fall of 1887 he moved to McPherson county, Kansas. 
His baptism into the Church of the Brethren occurred in 
the Monitor church in the summer of 1889. This congrega- 
tion elected him to the ministry on June 22, 1895, and ad- 
vanced him in office on July 4, 1896. On January 5, 1901, 
along with J. J. Yoder, he was ordained to the eldership 
by Elders A. M. Dickey and S. J. Miller. From December 
30, 1911, till November 26, 1916, Brother Mishler served as 
elder in charge of the Monitor congregation. For years he 
did his share of the preaching in the home church and also 
led the singing. Since April 1, 1918, Brother Mishler has 
been pastor of the Newton city church. 

He was one of. the early students of McPherson College, 
spending in school a part of the first two years of the college. 


He taught in the public schools for five years. In 1911-1912 
he returned for another year's work at the college. On 
February 28, 1892, Brother Mishler was united in marriage 
with Mary E., daughter of J. D. Yoder. Mrs. Mishler had 
come to Kansas from Somerset county, Pennsylvania, in 
the spring of 1879. Five children have blessed this union — 
Floyd E., Vern S., Irene E., Galen E., and Ralph W. 

Brother Mishler has served the church in several ca- 
pacities. Elected a member of the District Mission Board in 
April, 1899, he has served without interruption up to the 
present (1921), much of the time as Secretary-Treasurer. 
He was secretary of the Committee of Arrangement of the 
Wichita Annual Conference of the Church of the Brethren 
in 1917 and of the same committee at Sedalia, Mo., in 1920. 
In June, 1921, Brother Mishler moved to the Figarden 
church, near Fresno, California. 


Levi D. Mohler, the fourth of a family of ten children, 
was born on June 10, 1860, into the home of Elder Samuel 
S. and Mary Ann Mohler, of Covington, Ohio. When Levi 
was eight years of age, the family came to Johnson county, 
Missouri, where a few Brethren had located, near the pres- 
ent town of Leeton. Later in the same year the Mineral 
Creek church was organized. In this community Levi re- 
ceived a good common school education. In the spring of 
1875, he accepted Christ in baptism. His election to the 
Gospel ministry occurred in the Mineral Creek church in 
November, 1884. In 1886, he located at Warrensburg, Mo., 
where he and his brother Ezra were engaged in the nurs- 
ery business for several years. Here, in the Warrensburg 
congregation, on May 27, 1897, he was ordained to 
the eldership. On May 9, 1894, he was married 
to Mattie A. Hall of McPherson, Kansas. To this 
union were born three children, one son and two 
daughters. In 1900 the family moved to Carring- 
ton, North Dakota, where they remained a short 
time. The next move (1905) was to McPherson, where for 
a time Brother Mohler had charge of the Child Rescue work 
of the Church of the Brethren. For several years he was 
presiding elder of the McPherson church. . He was also once 
elder in charge of the Wichita church. Twice — in 1902 and 


in 1905 — he served on the Standing Committee of the 
Annual Conference. On May 21, 1907, just as the Com- 
mencement season of McPherson College was beginning, 
Sister Mohler passed away at the residence on College Hill. 
By a sad irony of fate, after caring for the homeless, Brother 
Mohler himself was called home in the St. Francis hospital 
at Wichita, on January 29, 1909, leaving three children to 
the care of others. 


Robert Ellsworth Mohler was born on March 13, 1886, 
at Red Cloud, Nebraska. He is the son of Edwin and Sarah 
Wagoner Mohler, both Indianans from near North Man- 
chester, and later pioneer settlers in Nebraska. The family 
is connected with the rather numerous branches of the 
Mohler family to be found in the Church of the Brethren. 

The early part of Robert's life was spent on the farm 
in the hills south of the town of Red Cloud. In those days 
most of the houses in the neighborhood were built of sod, 
and the Mohler residence was no exception to the rule. At 
the age of nine Robert moved with his parents to a more 
promising community in the same locality, where he lived 
until 1908. The next venture was a fruit farm in western 
Michigan, where young Mohler, owing to the death of his 
father in 1908, assumed control for his widowed mother. 
He remained in charge of this farm for the next six years, 
but finally settled in Kansas. 

The boy's education began early. At the age of four 
he began to accompany his older sister as she attended the 
rural school. At the age of fourteen he entered the high 
school at Red Cloud as a sophomore, remaining here one 
year. He next attended Franklin Academy, a Congrega- 
tional institution located at Franklin, a town west of Red 
Cloud. Part of one year was spent here. The following year 
(1902-1903) with his older sister, Mary, now the wife of 
Rev. Bruce A. Miller of Scottville, Michigan, he entered 
McPherson College. In two and one-half years they both 
completed what was then known as the five-year normal 
course, receiving the degree Bachelor of Scientific Didactics 

Robert then spent two winters teaching in the public 
schools, the first year in Jewell county, Kansas, and the 


second in Mason county, Michigan. In the fall of 1909, he 
entered Mount Morris College, where he remained for three 
years. He was an unusually prominent student leader. At 
Mount Morris he was a student teacher for two years and 
was tutor in a private family for one year. In 1912, one of 
a class of three, he took the degree Bachelor of Arts from 
Mount Morris College. 

By this time he had decided upon teaching as his life 
work, and his preference was college work. So he accepted 
a position in Mount Morris for the year succeeding his 
graduation. However, before the year had expired, Mc- 
Pherson College, in casting about for a head for her newly 
established agricultural department, extended to him a call 
to' take up the responsibility. Accepting the appointment, 
he secured a release from Mount Morris and entered the 
Michigan State Agricultural College at East Lansing, pur- 
suing for the remainder of the year courses in graduate 
study in his chosen field. In the fall of 1913, he entered 
upon his professorship at McPherson. 

It was a rare opportunity that opened up to Professor 
Mohler when he came to McPherson College, and the excel- 
lent success which has crowned his efforts in building up a 
department of agriculture is the best commentary upon his 
far-sightedness as a man. After teaching two years in Mc- 
Pherson, he obtained a leave of absence to attend the State 
Agricultural College at Manhattan, from which in 1916, 
he received the degree Master of Science. In the summer 
of 1918, he was engaged as assistant professor of agricul- 
ture in the Kansas State Normal at Emporia. Strong in- 
ducements were held out to cause him to leave McPherson 
College in favor of the larger school, but he cheerfully de- 
clined the more lucrative salary to stay in the college where 
his life has counted for so much. 

Professor Mohler is one of the most popular teachers 
who have ever taught in the college. He is much in demand 
as a lecturer at farmers' institutes, Bible terms, and Sunday 
School conventions. His teaching of a young men's class 
in the McPherson Sunday School has given him a remark- 
able opportunity to impress his ideals of Christian man- 
hood upon hundreds of the young men of the church. Aside 
from his teaching, his chief interest lies in the athletic 


activities of the college. From 1915 to 1917, he was secre- 
tary of the Alumni Association of the college. 

On June 22, 1913, shortly before coming to McPherson, 
Professor Mohler took as his bride Miss Velma Landis of 
Woodland, Michigan, a graduate of Mount Morris College 
and the center of a college romance. Mrs. Mohler presides 
with grace and ease over one of the happiest homes on 
College Hill. 


John Saylor Mohler was the third in a family of twelve 
children born to Elder Samuel and Catherine Mohler of 
Covington, Ohio. He was born on May 30, 1831. He 
attended school as opportunity offered and secured sufficient 
education to teach school, which he did for a number of 

On November 15, 1852, J. S. was united in marriage 
with Mary Risser, daughter of Elder Joseph Risser of Cov- 
ington. To this union were born ten children, two of whom 
died in infancy and one after arriving at maturity. Seven 
children survived the father. 

In December, 1869, the Mohler family left Ohio for 
Missouri, arriving at their destination at Knobnoster on 
Christmas day. After residing in that locality a year, the 
family moved to Henry county. While at that place, Brother 
Mohler was elected to the ministry, the elders in charge of 
the election being S. S. Mohler (his brother) and John 
Hershey. He was soon advanced to the second degree and 
then ordained to the eldership. The dates of these events 
are not available. His ministerial work in Missouri was 
largely of a frontier type and his were the privations and 
sacrifices incident to that kind of life. But he faced them 
bravely and triumphantly. 

In about 1878, the Deep Water church, Missouri, was 
organized and Bro. Mohler served as elder until his removal 
to Kansas, in 1886. Coming to Kansas, he located at Morrill, 
where for some time he was elder of the Pony Creek con- 
gregation. While he was in charge, the church building 
went into the hands of the Progressives and the North Mor- 
rill church was built. 

Bro. Mohler served as pastor and elder of the church 
at Beatrice, Nebraska, for several years and also in the 


same capacity at Mound City, Missouri. In 1887, he was one 
of the committee of five which located the Brethren College 
at McPherson. He served on the Standing Committee of 
Annual Conference in 1891 and in 1893. 

In 1908, he, with his wife, moved to Quinter, where a 
son and daughter lived. There he continued to reside until 
his death, which occurred on November 1, 1911. He con- 
tinued to preach until a short time before he passed away. 
His last sermon, preached about three weeks before the 
end came, was addressed to the young, and was a warm 
appeal for their enlistment in the cause of the church. His 
funeral was preached from his own outline on 2 Tim. 4:6-8, 
by Elder D. A. Crist. On March 17, 1912, his faithful com- 
panion fell asleep in Jesus. 

Bro. Mohler is the author of the pamphlet entitled "The 
Resurrection" and also of hymn number 147 in Kingdom 
Songs and of hymn number 583 in the Brethren Hymnal. 


Andrew Neher was born in Clinton county, Indiana, on 
September 15, 1838. On November 4, 1860, he was united 
in marriage with Elizabeth Wolfe, to which union were born 
three sons, one of whom, D. P., is now elder in charge of 
the Osage congregation, Kansas. At the age of nineteen 
he united with the Church of the Brethren. In June, 1869, 
he, with his family, moved to Marion county, Illinois, 
and here, in the Romine congregation he was elected to the 
ministry. On December 24, 1877, he was advanced to the 
second degree and in April, 1882, was ordained to the elder- 

In March, 1884, Bro. Neher emigrated to Kansas, set- 
tling first in Cherokee county and then in 1894, in Craw- 
ford county. For some years until August, 1898, he had 
charge of the Osage church. Going to North Dakota in 
1898, he became identified with the Salem church, of which 
he was the overseer until his return to Kansas in 1904. He 
spent the remainder of his life at McCune. 

For the last three years of his life Bro. Neher was in 
poor health, suffering for some months from cancer of the 
stomach. But he bore it all patiently and waited quietly 
for his departure, which occurred on January 1, 1918. His 
body rests in the cemetery at McCune. 



Harvey Harlow, son of J. B. and Mary Bower Nininger, 
was born on January 7, 1887, near Conway Springs, Kansas. 
Until the age of nine he lived in a small one-roomed house 
near that place. Then the family spent four years in John- 
son county, Missouri. It was here that Harvey developed 
that intimacy with nature which so colored his subsequent 
life. The schools of the community did not afford much 
chance for progress on the part of his youthful mind. 

The next move of the family was to Payne county, 
Oklahoma, where Harvey worked in the cotton fields and 
helped grub stumps and chop wood on a forested farm 
which his father had bought. It was not until he was nine- 
teen that he finished the eighth grade. In fact, he had 
shown but little interest in education up to that time. The 
next winter he was traveling secretary for the Orphans' 
Home of the Church of the Brethren in Oklahoma, which 
organization was still in its infancy. It was while he was 
engaged in this work that he determined to spend a week 
attending the Bible Institute at McPherson College. While 
there, however, he concluded that one week was not enough 
time to secure an education. He thought it might take 
two years. Accordingly, the next fall he matriculated in 
the Oklahoma State Normal School at Alva. Not content 
with the two years schooling, he decided to finish a college 
course, and for that purpose entered McPherson College 
in the fall of 1911. 

Harvey now showed his friends what a young man 
with grit can do when it comes to getting an education. He 
had to make all of his expenses, and did this by making 
himself handy at doing washing, janitor work, making 
candy, acting as salesman, tutoring, etc. He made a bril- 
liant record as a student. Nobody knew more about birds 
and bugs than he. In May, 1914, he took the A.B. degree, 
one of a class of twelve, of which he was the president. 

Shortly after graduation, Harvey was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Addie N. Delp, a daughter of Elder S. E. 
Delp, of Murdock, Kansas (June 5, 1914). The young couple 
went to California that fall, where Harvey assumed a pro- 
fessorship in biology in LaVerne College. Four years he 
filled this position, ranking as one of the leading men of 


the institution. During these years he completed the work 
requisite for the Master's degree, which distinction was 
conferred upon him by Pomona College, California, in 1916. 
One summer he taught bird study at the Pomona College 
Marine laboratory at Laguna Beach, California. Two other 
years he attended the summer school of the University of 
California. In 1918, he obtained leave of absence from 
LaVerne in order to attend the University long enough to 
obtain the doctorate, but just at the opening of school the 
government claimed his services. He responded and was 
stationed at the State Agricultural College of South Dakota, 
at Brookings, where his special field was entomology. The 
school year of 1919-1920, Professor Nininger taught in 
Southwestern College, at Winfield, Kansas. In September, 
1920, he became a member of the faculty of McPheson 

In 1914, Professor Nininger became known to the scien- 
tific world through a notable discovery which he made rela- 
tive to the mouth parts of the orthoptera. This discovery 
was embodied in a brief paper which brought to the subject 
of this sketch words of commendation from many men of 
science. Other valuable magazine contributions have fol- 
lowed. Professor Nininger is a member of the following 
learned societies: American Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science, American Association of Economic Ento- 
mologists, Kansas Academy of Science, Entomological So- 
ciety of America, and the American Ornithologists' 

Professor Nininger is much interested in church work. 
He became a member of the Church of the Brethren in the 
Paradise Prairie church, Oklahoma, in November, 1900. At 
present (1921) he is the teacher of a young men's class in 
the college Sunday School at McPherson. 


Eli Renner, son of Noah and Fanny Weaver Renner, 
was born on September 6, 1839, near Dayton, Ohio. While 
he was yet a mere child his parents moved to a farm near 
Portland, Indiana, where he grew to manhood. His educa- 
tion was very much limited. On January 14, 1862, he was 
united in marriage with Miss Diana Cubbison of Bloom- 
field, Indiana, who was his companion for over fifty years. 


Four sons were born to this union. Two of these, with a 
foster daughter, survived the father. 

The subject of this sketch was baptized in November, 
1865, in the Bear Creek church, near Bloomneld, Indiana. 
In about 1874, he was elected to the ministry in the same 
church. In the fall of 1879, he came to Kansas, locating at 
Burr Oak, where he resided until his death, with the excep- 
tion of a six months' stay at Meriden in 1896. In the Burr 
Oak church he was ordained to the eldership on February 1, 
1882, by Elder John Forney. From May 28, 1892, to July 
28, 1894, he was elder in charge of the Burr Oak church. 

Elder Renner passed away on February 9, 1913, as the 
result of an attack of la grippe and a stroke of paralysis. 
The last act of his life was to sign a check in payment of 
his share to the support of his pastor. He was kind and 
considerate of others in his attitude and was continually 
concerned about the welfare of the church which he loved. 


Eli David Root, son of C. C. and Sarah Iman Root, was 
born at Rossville, Ind., on Aug. 15, 1861. He was the oldest 
child in the family. In early childhood he moved with his 
parents to Caldwell county, Mo., where he grew to manhood. 

On Dec. 30, 1883, he was wedded to Miss Elizabeth F. 
Brammell of Ozawkie, Kansas. Two sons, Leonard H. and 
Ernest C, were born to this union. After the birth of their 
first son they moved to Ozawkie where they resided for 
several years. The Ozawkie church elected Bro. Root to 
the office of deacon. On their removal to the East Maple 
Grove congregation, near Gardner, Kans. on February 19, 
1898, he was elected to the ministry. He served this church 
faithfully four years and was ordained to the eldership 
(November 26, 1904) just before leaving to take charge of 
the church at Fredonia, Kans. 

Elder Root served the Fredonia church two years. 
During this time the church made a splendid growth under 
his careful pastorship. He then served the Independence 
church under the direction of the District Mission Board 
of Southeastern Kansas. Here again his efforts were 
highly appreciated and his labor rewarded with increase 
for the Kingdom. 

His last residence was at Newton, where under the 
Mission Board of Southwest Kansas and Southeast Colo- 


rado, he labored as pastor of the Newton church. While 
there he also served as superintendent of the Child Rescue 
Work of the state. 

Bro. Root was always interested in young people and 
used his influence to inspire them to make a thorough 
preparation and thus be ready for whatever line of work 
to which the Master might call them. Among those who 
thus came under his influence is Sister Pearl Stauffer Bow- 
man, now of China. "He lived intensively," says his son, 
L. H., "and the thing that was worth while doing gained 
his earnest effort. And so into the thirteen years of his 
ministry was packed a wonderful amount of love, sympathy, 
and service to those about him." 

He passed away on Sept. 30, 1910. His body is at rest 
in the Newton cemetery. 


John A. Root is the son of Andrew and Elizabeth Cripe 
Root, both natives of Darke county, Ohio. The parents 
early emigrated to Carroll county, Indiana, where the sub- 
ject of this sketch was born on February 9, 1841. At the 
age of twenty, John A. united with the Church of the 
Brethren at Pyrmont, Indiana. In May, 1863, with his 
parents, he started for Kansas, and on May 11, of that year 
they reached Ozawkie, in Jefferson county. Here, with 
the exception of one year spent in Missouri, Bro. Root has 
lived ever since. 

In September, 1863, he was united in marriage with 
Anna Saltsman. Just two weeks thereafter he was called 
to the ministry (September 15, 1863). In 1870, he was 
advanced to the second degree of the ministry and in 1876, 
he was ordained to the eldership. In 1880, the Ozawkie 
congregation called him to the oversight, in which posi- 
tion he served for over thirty-three years. Although he 
thrice sought to be relieved of this responsibility, it was 
not until 1914, that the church felt willing to choose his 

In 1864, Sister Root passed away, leaving a babe a 
month old. In 1866, Bro. Root was married to Miss Winnie 
Cue, who is the companion of his old age. To them were 
born seven children, six sons and one daughter. Two sons 
died in infancy and one in his youth. The other three sons 


and the daughter grew to maturity and all united with the 
Ozawkie church while young. 

After being ordained to the eldership Bro. Root began 
to feel more and more the responsibility of carrying the 
Gospel to the whole world. He manifested his purpose and 
interest by getting a paper before the District Meeting of 
Northeastern Kansas, calling for a more aggressive pro- 
gram of home mission work. His appeal met with success, 
but the district answered by appointing Bro. Root to "prac- 
tice what he preached.' ' He served for four years with 
small remuneration, never more than his traveling ex- 
penses being paid. While there were not many conversions, 
the number of calls for preaching was great and eternity 
alone will reveal the good done by this preaching. 

Although retired from active life, Bro. Root is still 
keenly alive to the work of the church, and no one rejoices 
more in the onward march of the Kingdom than does he. 


Abraham Rothrock was born in Northumberland 
county, Pennsylvania, but moved to Mifflin county while 
quite young. He was married to Mary Beashor, who was 
born on April 4, 1810, in Lost Creek Valley, in Juniata 
county. In the spring of 1858, he came to Kansas, settling 
nine miles south of Lawrence. He was in all probability the 
first elder of the church to live in the state. During the 
drouth of 1860, he was sent on a visit to the eastern 
churches to solicit aid for the destitute in Kansas. On 
August 21, 1863, he was, in a most brutal manner assaulted 
and shot by members of the Quantrill band, as they were 
leaving the town of Lawrence which they had just sacked. 
This tragedy did not, however, shake his well-grounded 
principles, and he remained active in the work of the church 
till the end, passing away on February 6, 1870, at the age 
of 72 years and 3 months. The funeral at Pleasant Grove 
was conducted by brethren James E. Hilkey, Peter Bru- 
baker, and J. W. Hopping. One who knew him intimately 
has said of him : "He was the best man I ever knew." The 
family of Brother Rothrock consisted of a wife, who sur- 
vived until December 14, 1893, five sons, and three 



Charles Luther Rowland, the youngest of four broth- 
ers in a family of eight children, was born on March 12, 
1886, at Milnor, Franklin county, Pennsylvania. The first 
two years of his life were spent at his birth place, after 
which, his parents, Elder John and Susan Miller Rowland, 
located on a tract of land five miles north of Hagerstown, 
Maryland. During the thirteen years spent on this farm 
Charles was the handy boy, making most of his playthings 
in his father's workshop. 

At the age of twelve Charles united with the Church 
of the Brethren in the Beaver Creek congregation. He was 
baptized by his father on Christmas day, in a stream half 
a mile north of the Long Meadow church house. In early 
childhood he manifested a marked musical talent. Along 
with the other children he learned his first songs under the 
tutelage of his father. The favorite song was "Little Ones 
Like Me." 

In the sping of 1900, the family moved to a farm in 
Franklin county, Pa., three miles south of Welsh Run. In 
the spring of 1903, Charles finished the prescribed course 
of study in the public schools of Pennsylvania and in Sep- 
tember of the same year, entered Blue Ridge College, then 
known as Maryland Collegiate Institute. During his student 
days he served as janitor and drayman, besides carrying a 
heavy program of school work. The home training of pious 
parents was evidenced by the fact that he took a very active 
part in the religious activities of the college. He was gradu- 
ated from the academy in the class of 1906, and two years 
later from the normal course in the department of singing. 

In the fall of 1907, Charles entered the Roanoke (Va.) 
School of Music, where he remained for a year and one 
summer, returning to his alma mater in 1908 to conduct 
the department of singing, which position he held for three 
successive years. The winter of 1911-1912 was spent in 
music study in Baltimore in the Peabody Conservatory. 

On August 10, 1912, Professor Rowland was united 
in marriage with Miss Margaret M.Harlacherof Hanover, 
Pennsylvania, Elder B. F. Masterson of Long Beach, Cali- 
fornia, performing the ceremony. The marriage was the 
result of a friendship formed at Blue Ridge College, where 
Miss Harlacher had served in the capacity of teacher in 


the business department and as treasurer of the college. In 
September, 1912, the Rowlands located in Barbourville, Ken- 
tucky, where Professor Rowland became a member of the 
faculty of Union College, heading the Voice department. 
In February, 1913, he was elected head of the Voice depart- 
ment of McPherson College, which position he held until 
June, 1920, when he accepted a similar position in Juniata 

The Voice department of McPherson College is in a 
very large sense the creation of Professor Rowland. Hard 
and conscientious work characterized his seven years' stay. 
He was a very popular teacher. His students took high rank 
in the musical circles of the state. In 1917 and 1920, he 
directed the singing at the Annual Conference. 

Since he began his career as teacher of singing, Pro- 
fessor Rowland has attended summer school five summers, 
studying with the following men: E. T. Hildebrand, George 
Castelle, R. G. Weigester, and William Claire Hall. 

Professor and Mrs. Rowland are the parents of one son 
— Ronald Harlacher Rowland, born in Hanover, Pa., on 
August 7, 1913. 


W. H. H. Sawyer was born on November 25, 1836, in 
Darke county, Ohio, where he grew to manhood. His mother 
united with the Church of the Brethren before he was born. 
His maternal ancestors were from Holland, and for genera- 
tions were members of the church. Brother Sawyer was 
married in 1855, to Sarah Smith of Darke county, Ohio, and 
in 1856, they both united with the Church of the Brethren. 
In 1858, they came to Brown county, Kansas. In Septem- 
ber, 1859, at a love feast held at the home of Jacob H. Root 
on Squaw Creek, within the bounds of the Wolf River 
church, he was elected to the deacon's office. In September, 
1867, while William Gish was elder in charge of this con- 
gregation, Brother Sawyer was installed into the ministry. 
His ordination occurred in the same church in 1881. Brother 
Sawyer has been thrice married and is the father of eleven 
children by his first wife, and one by the second. For some 
years he was elder in charge of the Morrill church. He still 
(1921) lives in the Morrill congregation. 



Susie Saylor (nee Slusher), only child of Ezra and 
Sarah E. Brubaker Slusher, the former of Floyd county, 
and the latter of Roanoke, Virginia, was born on May 11, 
1871, in Salem, Virginia. Among the earlier ancestral 
names are those of Hylton, Weddle, and Flory. 

While she was yet a babe in arms, Susie's parents 
moved to Illinois. One trip made back to old Virginia left 
an indelible impress upon her young mind. When she was 
fourteen her parents moved to Kansas, settling at Augusta, 
in Butler county. They little realized the immense mineral 
wealth hidden in those rocky hills and found a more pleas- 
ant outlook in McPherson county, to which place they 
moved. While living north of the town of McPherson, the 
Slusher family heard delightful reports of the prospect of 
a Brethren college being located in their town. The report 
proved to be true. Susie had meantime accepted Christ in 
baptism in the West McPherson (now Monitor) church. 

When the college was assured to McPherson, Ezra 
Slusher bought property on College Hill and there the family 
made their home. Money was not plentiful, consequently 
the daughter earned practically all her way through 
college, receiving but slight aid from her parents. 
She taught in the college and served as matron in 
order to pay expenses. She also taught three terms 
of school in the country districts. While teaching 
in the college she had charge chiefly of the work 
in English, teaching grammar in the academy, and 
rhetoric and literature in both academy and college. 
In 1896, she completed both the normal and college courses, 
being the first lady to take an A.B. degree from McPherson 
College. Then for three years she was a regular faculty 
member and head of the department of English. 

In August, 1897, Miss Slusher was united in marriage 
with John Harvey Saylor of Aurora, Nebraska. This was 
the culmination of a college romance. Mr. Saylor later took 
up the study of medicine and since 1904 has been a success- 
ful physician in Ramona, Kansas. In 1904 he also was 
graduated from McPherson Collgee. To Dr. and Mrs. Saylor 
have been born four children — Edward Lowell, Harold Wes- 
ley, Leslie Lavelle, and Evelyn Elizabeth. Harold Wesley 
was called home at the age of four. 


At Ramona, the Saylors have been live wires in the 
Brethren church. They have consistently directed their 
efforts to its upbuilding despite the fact that nattering op- 
portunities have been offered at other places. In 1914, 
owing to the resignation of the superintendent, Mrs. Saylor 
was prevailed upon to re-enter the school room and for that 
term acted as superintendent of the Ramona high school. 
In 1918, the scarcity of teachers again caused the commun- 
ity to call upon Mrs. Saylor to teach in the high school. She 
acted as principal, teaching English and History during 
that school year. 


Solomon Z. Sharp was born on December 21, 1835, 
at Airy Dale, Huntingdon county, Pennsylvania. His public 
school attendance was limited to twenty-one months, but 
at twelve years of age he determined to become a teacher, 
and unaided, besides the common branches, he studied Latin, 
Greek, and some of the sciences and higher mathematics. 
At twenty he was a teacher. In 1860, he was graduated 
from the State Normal School of Pennsylvania, receiving 
the degree of Bachelor of English. Later he received the 
degree Master of English. 

On April 1, 1861, Professor Sharp took charge of the 
Kishacoquillas Seminary, in Mifflin county, Pa. Here he 
taught the first high school taught by a member of the 
Church of the Brethren. In 1862, he was married to Salome 
Zook, and not long after was elected to the ministry. Dur- 
ing the five years which he taught at Kishacoquillas he had 
as one of his assistants a Presbyterian minister and former 
instructor in Princeton University, under whom he now 
continued his studies in the ancient languages. He also took 
correspondence courses in the Boston School of the Bible. 

In 1866, Professor Sharp sold the Seminary and taught 
one year in the Pennsylvania State Normal School, while 
he studied for his A.M. degree, which distinction was con- 
ferred upon him by Jefferson (now Washington and Jeffer- 
son) College. Next he took charge of New Providence 
Normal School, at Maryville, Tennessee, which he conducted 
for seven years. Immediately upon arriving in Tennessee 
he began preaching in the country school houses and soon 
had an organized church a hundred miles from the nearest 


other congregation of the Brethren. He also furnished all 
the money for a good sized meeting house. In 1868, he was 
ordained to the eldership. Finding this part of Tennessee 
rich in rare species of land and fresh water shells, he took 
a course of instruction in conchology under Professor 
Weatherby, of the University of Cincinnati and became 
collector of conchological specimens for the Smithsonian 
Institution at Washington, D. C. 

At the close of his lease on the New Providence Nor- 
mal School, Professor Sharp accepted a professorship in 
Maryville College, Tennessee. He now made a specialty of 
Geology under Professor Trousdale of Vanderbilt Univers- 
ity. He also attended the summer school of Geology and 
made geological surveys in Kentucky, Tennessee, and North 
Carolina under Professor Shaler of Harvard University, 
upon whose recommendation he was elected a member of 
the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 

In 1878, Professor Sharp was called by members of the 
Church of the Brethren in the Northeastern District of 
Ohio to establish a college in the district. This was the 
beginning of Ashland College. On March 26, 1879, he issued 
the first number of a paper called "Our Sunday School/' 
containing lessons for both primary and advanced Sunday 
School classes. This was the beginning of our present exten- 
sive Sunday School literature. In September, 1879, Profes- 
sor Sharp opened Ashland College with sixty students and 
closed the term with one hundred and two. Next term he 
began with one hundred and eighty-seven students enrolled. 
It was at this time that the Progressives took the college 
and President Sharp resigned to accept a professorship in 
Mount Morris College. 

In Mount Morris many of the duties of the presidency 
fell upon Professor Sharp. He was elected chairman of the 
faculty and when D. L. Miller went to Europe he was elected 
acting president. During his summer vacations he studied 
elocution and oratory in Chicago and also some French in 
the French language school at Racine, Wisconsin. Soon 
after coming to Mount Morris he started the Brethren's 
Sunday School Quarterly. 

Professor Sharp's part in connection with the origin of 
McPherson College is told in the chapter of this book relat- 


ing to that institution. He served as President of McPher- 
son College until 1896, after which he started Plattsburg 
College, at Plattsburg, Mo., which, however, was but short- 
lived. Resigning his presidency here, he retired to Fruita, 
Colorado, where he still lives and is active in church work. 
Professor Sharp has had a remarkable career. He was 
drafted during the Civil War but would not fight. He stood 
on the battlefield of Gettysburg the day after the battle 
before the dead and wounded were carried away, and was 
also present at Gettysburg and heard President Lincoln 
deliver his famous dedicatory address. Mount Morris Col- 
lege conferred upon him the LL. D. degree. For some time 
he was State Geologist of Kansas and a member of the Kan- 
sas Academy of Science. He served on the Standing Com- 
mittee of Annual Conference in 1879, 1910, and 1920. In 
1915, he was elected a trustee of McPherson College and 
delivered the address upon the occasion of the completion 
of the big campaign for $200,000 endowment. He is keenly 
alive to current events and is a frequent conributor to the 
Gospel Messenger. 


Ernest Francis Sherfy, son of John and Louisa Kinzie 
Sherfy, was born on January 18, 1883, within the bounds 
of the Appanoose congregation in Franklin county, Kansas. 
In this community he grew almost to manhood. Long, 
rough roads did not prevent the Sherfys from attending 
church and Sunday School. Brought up thus in the atmos- 
phere of the church, Ernest was led, in 1896, when at the 
age of thirteen, to accept Christ in baptism. 

Farm duties, due to the preaching tours of his father, 
rather limited his early efforts to secure an education, but 
books, Bible institutes, and the Sunday School lessons kept 
alive in him his natural passion for learning. On Febru- 
ary 20, 1903, the Scott Valley church, to which the Sherfys 
had moved in 1900, called E. F. to the Gospel ministry. A 
year spent in the State Normal School at Emporia, three 
years of teaching, abundant experience in farming and 
preaching, and a year's work in McPherson College, brought 
him to a new chapter in his life. It was on May 20, 1908, 
that Brother Sherfy took for his companion Miss Effie Mae 
Strohm of Abilene, Kansas. One year of work in the Kansas 


City Mission (Armour dale) brought to the Sherfys a new 

Leaving Kansas City, Brother Sherfy entered the 
evangelistic field, in which avenue of service he was emi- 
nently successful. Before he was thirty-five years of age 
he had held thirty-two revivals in six different states and 
one hundred and sixty-five were added to the church through 
his efforts. For three years he did intensive evangelistic 
work during vacation months and attended Bethany Bible 
School in the winters. He spent one summer in Moody 
Bible Institute. For three years he served as 'pastor of 
the Colorado Springs, Colorado, church, during which time 
the membership was much increased and a house of worship 
was erected. While in Colorado Springs, Brother Sherfy 
was ordained to the elder's office (December 19, 1914). 

Returning to Kansas in May, 1915, Brother Sherfy took 
charge of the work in the Chapman Creek church. But a 
desire for further schooling prompted him to accept a pas- 
torate at Ramona, where he could fill the pulpit and do the 
necessary pastoral work while residing in McPherson and 
pursuing courses in McPherson College. This he did for 
three years. In May, 1919, he took the degree Bachelor of 
Sacred Literature from the college. That same month he 
assumed the pastorship of the Monitor congregation, south- 
west of McPherson, this change enabling him to continue 
his college work without interruption. 

Brother Sherfy is a ready speaker, a logical reasoner, 
and a forceful writer. He is sincerely devoted to the church 
and her work. In 1919 he represented the district of North- 
eastern Kansas on the Standing Committee at Annual Con- 
ference. Brother Sherfy has a helpmeet that has proved 
an inspiration in his work. Sister Sherfy is a trained nurse 
and is especially adapted to work with women and girls. 


Charles B. Smith, one of the leading evangelists of the 
present day among the Brethren, was born on February 
19, 1867, in a log house in Orange county, Virgina. His 
parents were typical Southerners. The father served almost 
four years in the Confederate army. The maternal grand- 
father was an extensive slave-holder. The paternal grand- 
mother's name was Bragg, the family being related to the 


noted Confederate general Bragg. The Smiths were of the 
Brethren faith only in their later years. 

When C. B. was six years of age his parents moved to 
Augusta county. Here he remained until in 1886, when 
with an older brother he went out West to Woodford county, 
Illinois. In the fall of 1886, C. B. united with the Church 
of the Brethren, being baptized in a little stream on Elder 
James R. Gish's farm near the Panther Creek church. 

On March 8, 1888, Brother Smith was united in mar- 
riage with Miss Mary E. Rowzer of New Paris, Pennsyl- 
vania. They were married at Lacon, Illinois. In the spring 
of 1890, in the Cornell congregation, Livingston county, Illi- 
nois, Brother Smith was called to the ministry, Elder Menno 
Stouffer having charge of the election. The fall of 1891 
found him in Mount Morris College, where he devoted him- 
self chiefly to Bible study. Two years were spent in school 
at Mount Morris, after which he removed to Gage county, 

His real ministerial labors began in Nebraska, since he 
had done little preaching before this time. Frontier work 
was to be part of his lot. For two and a half years the 
Mission Board of Nebraska employed him to work on the 
frontier. In the fall of 1896, a call from the Red Cloud 
church, Nebraska, was received and accepted. For fifteen 
years this was his home, although five years of that time 
were spent as pastor of the Milledgeville (111.) congregation. 

Early in 1901, Bro. Smith and wife returned to Red 
Cloud and resumed the pastorate at that place. In 1911, 
he entered upon the work with which he was to be iden- 
tified until 1919 — the pastorship of the Morrill congregation 
in Brown county, Kansas. To be a successful pastor of the 
second largest church in Kansas is no small task, but Bro. 
Smith amply proved his ability to minister in this capacity. 
His efforts were remarkably blessed. He developed a work- 
ing membership and won the confidence and esteem of the 
entire community. Rarely does a church become so de- 
voted to its pastor. On March 17, 1918, the Morrill church 
dedicated its new $33,000 building — an evidence of the pros- 
perity of the congregation under the guidance of Elder 
Smith. President Kurtz of McPherson College preached the 
dedicatory sermon. In the last eight years (1911-1919) the 


membership of the church has almost doubled. It is now 
(1920) about two hundred and sixty-five. 

For twenty years Bro. Smith has taken great delight 
in evangelistic work, and the results of his labors in this 
field have been telling. Calls for his services are many and 
insistent. His presence has always been helpful to local 
churches. He is a favorite at District Conference and 
always takes a leading part. He served on the Standing 
Committee of the Annual Conference of 1914. In 1918, he 
was on the credentials committee at the Hershey confer- 
ence. He has been on numerous committees both in Ne- 
braska and Kansas. 

On August 4, 1894, Bro. Smith was advanced to the 
second degree of the ministry by the North Beatrice, Ne- 
braska, congregation. On May 1, 1897, he was, by the 
same congregation, ordained to the eldership, Elders Urias 
Shick and Stephen Yoder officiating. Brother Smith is 
everywhere known as a warm friend of young people and 
an ardent friend of higher education. As an evidence of 
his interest in education, in the spring of 1919, he gave to 
McPherson College a farm of 320 acres in Osborne county, 
Kansas. At present (1920) Brother and Sister Smith are 
living at Stuart's Draft, Virginia. 


Aaron D. Sollenberger, son of Elder Jacob and Eliza 
Sollenberger, was born at Naperville, Illinois, on January 
25, 1869. At that place he grew to manhood. A deeply 
religious home exercised a profound influence upon his life. 
His early schooling was secured in the district school. Later 
he attended the Wheaton high school. He also attended at 
different times Mount Morris College and Bethany Bible 

At the age of seventeen years, in the Naperville church, 
he dedicated his life to the service of the Master. At twenty- 
one he became a deacon. On January 15, 1891, he chose as 
his life partner Miss Lana Deutschman of Joliet, Illinois. 
Soon thereafter, in May, 1891, he received through the 
Naperville church the call of God to the Gospel ministry. 
Three years were spent laboring for this congrega- 
tion, after which the Sollenbergers moved to the 
South Beatrice church, Nebraska, where for twelve 


years (1894-1906) they rendered acceptable service. 
These were busy years. The Brethren church was 
the only one in the community and that meant 
many pastoral calls, visits to the sick, calls to sol- 
emnize marriages, preach funerals, etc. The first three 
years of these years, Bro. Sollenberger was associated in 
his work with Bro. C. B. Smith. On August 4, 1894, both 
of them were advanced to the second degree of the ministry 
by Elder Urias Shick. On May 1, 1897, Elder Shick again 
officiating, Bro. Sollenberger was ordained to the eldership. 

He now entered into larger fields of usefulness for the 
church. For three years (1902-1905) he was a member of 
the Nebraska District Mission Board. At District Confer- 
ence he served once as writing clerk and once as moderator. 
In 1900 and in 1912, he represented his district on the 
Standing Committee at the Annual Conference. 

At the conclusion of his term of service at the North 
Beatrice church, Bro. Sollenberger went back to his old 
home congregation at Naperville, where he stayed three 
years. During this time a new church building was erected 
in that city. In connection with his pastoral work there he 
also spent four terms in Bethany Bible School, which school- 
ing was interrupted by a break-down in his health. Return- 
ing to Nebraska, Bro. Sollenberger served five years as pas- 
tor and elder of the Beatrice city church, following this with 
one year in evangelistic work. In October, 1915, he took up 
the work in the Eden Valley church, near St. John, Kansas. 
This church has greatly revived under his inspiring leader- 
ship. In the first three years its membership nearly doubled. 

In the spring of 1891, Brother Sollenberger resigned the 
pastorate at Eden Valley and at present lives at Carleton, 
Nebraska, where he is pastor of the Bethel church. 

Bro. Sollenberger has had considerable experience as 
an evangelist and the way to salvation has opened to many 
through his labors in this field. In this work he has served 
churches in Nebraska, Illinois, Colorado, Iowa, Missouri, 
and Kansas. 


Ellis M. Studebaker was born near Pearl City, Illinois, 
on September 2, 1881. His parents were Simon and Char- 
lotte Etter Studebaker. There are two brothers and one 


sister, all older than Ellis. When the latter was six years 
old the family moved to Marshall county, Kansas, and be- 
came charter members of the Vermillion (now Richland 
Center) church, which the father served several years in 
the capacity of elder. 

Ellis spent his boyhood on the farm. At the age of 
thirteen he was baptized into the Church of the Brethren 
by Elder J. R. Frantz. At the age of seventeen he entered 
McPherson College, which he attended for parts of five 
successive years. His interest at this time was largely in 
the commercial and music departments. His natural talent 
in music was developed until he became unusually capable 
as a leader of vocal music, and his services as a leader of 
congregational singing, chorus director, and member of 
male quartettes have been much in demand. He had 
also become assistant instructor in the -commercial de- 
partment of the college under Professor S. B. Fahnestock 
and had planned to continue in the department when the 
sudden death of his father caused him to return to the 

Brother Studebaker was married to Lottie V. Roth- 
rock on April 3, 1902. After leaving McPherson College 
they spent four years on the farm, two near Copemish, 
Michigan, and two near Beattie, Kansas. 

It was in the church of his boyhood, that on October 6, 
1906, he was elected to the ministry. He accepted reluc- 
tantly with the declaration that he "never could make a 
speech." However, being persuaded that the call was from 
God, he accepted it and was installed by Elder J. S. Mohler. 

The call to the ministry was an epoch-making event 
in Brother Studebaker's life. While he had always been 
dependable and active in all religious work, he now pro- 
ceeded to make the Lord's work his chief business. Feeling 
the need for further educational preparation he at once dis- 
posed of his farming equipment, though at a considerable 
financial sacrifice, and entered Bethany Bible School the 
same winter. He spent two and one-half years in this insti- 
tution, one year of which he served the Sterling, Illinois, 
church as pastor. Following this he spent two years in 
evangelistic and Bible institute work under the direction of 
Bethany Bible School in the states of Iowa, Missouri, Kan- 
sas, Nebraska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington. 


In 1911, Brother Studebaker again entered McPherson 
College as a student in the liberal arts department and as 
tutor in the Bible School. He was graduated with the A.B. 
degree in 1915, and since that time has taught as full pro- 
fessor in the college. He has done work in the universities 
of Washington, Kansas, and Chicago. In 1920, he was 
granted a leave of absence for graduate work in the Uni- 
versity of Chicago. 

Brother Studebaker was advanced to the second degree 
of the ministry on July 5, 1907, at Batavia, Illinois, Elder 
J. H. Moore officiating. He was ordained to the eldership 
on January 6, 1913, in the McPherson church, Elders J. J. 
Yoder and M. J. Mishler having charge of the ordination. 
He represented his district on the Standing Committee of 
1914 and has served on various Conference committees. 

Brother and Sister Studebaker are the parents of four 
children, three girls and one boy, all of whom are in the 
church. They are endeavoring by keeping their home sup- 
plied with an abundance of good reading and music and by 
joining their children in wholesome recreation to make home 
the most delightful place and the parents the most agree- 
able companions that the children can find. No other work 
is considered great enough to be allowed to interfere with 
the God-given task of training their children for Him, and 
no measure of success in other work can compensate for 
failure in this. 


George W. Studebaker, son of John and Hannah Ulrich 
Studebaker, was born on March 2, 1818, in Bedford county, 
Pennsylvania. While yet young he emigrated with his par- 
ents to Miami county, Ohio, where he lived until 1838, when 
he moved to Delaware county, Indiana, within the Missis- 
sinewa congregation. His educational advantages were 
meager but the school of experience furnished him a very 
practical education. He was a natural student. He once 
boarded a school teacher and was thus induced to take up 
the study of grammar. The Scriptures were his special 
object of study. 

In August, 1837, George W. Studebaker, under the 
preaching of John Darst, was converted in Miami county, 
Ohio, and united with the Church of the Brethren. In 1841, 
in the Mississinewa church, he was elected a deacon. The 


old Brethren permitted him to exhort, provided he remained 
seated. In the spring of 1842, he was elected to the min- 
istry. He could preach in either English or German. Bro. 
Studebaker was an evangelist of remarkable ability. He 
travelled much on horseback, often receiving no remunera- 
tion for his labors. In 1850 or 1852, he was ordained. In 
1867, along with Lewis Kinsey, he made a preaching tour 
as far south as Alabama. In Richland county, Wisconsin, 
he organized the first congregation of the Brethren to be 
established in that state. On one occasion, in Adams county, 
Indiana, he was called upon to defend in debate the position 
of the Brethren on the Lord's Supper. Good results fol- 

In the spring of 1882, Bro. Studebaker moved from 
Indiana to Columbus, Cherokee county, Kansas. Chancing 
to hold a revival at Fredonia, he was so attracted by the 
place that he bought a home (November, 1882), 
and made that place his residence for the rest of his days. 
His moving to Kansas, he felt, was under the guidance of 

Bro. Studebaker was married four times. His first 
wife, Barbara Detrick, the mother of four children, passed 
away in 1848. The second, Martha Levell, the mother of 
two, died in 1855. The third, Elizabeth Bowman, the mother 
of two, died in 1862. The last wife, Elizabeth Arnold, be- 
came the mother of one child. She preceded Bro. Stude- 
baker to the tomb in 1898. 

Bro. Studebaker stood high in the councils of the 
church. He represented his district on the Standing Com- 
mittee of the Annual Conference in 1882. He helped 
organize many churches in Kansas and held the eldership 
of several congregations in the eastern part of the state. 
He passed away at the home of his son near Fredonia, on 
July 22, 1905. For the last few years of his life he had 
been deaf and almost blind. While living in Indiana he was 
referred to as "the grand old man of the Mississinewa 


Jesse Studebaker was born in Miami county, Ohio, 
June 23, 1827. His father's name was Samuel Studebaker. 
Jesse grew up on his father's farm. Pioneer life did not 
afford the boy much opportunity for an education, although 






he always cherished a desire for books and spent much of 
his spare time in reading. He had a strong memory and 
was always religiously inclined. 

At the age of twenty-six years Jesse married Priscilla 
Agenbroad of Miami county. They later moved to Allen 
county, Ind., becoming early settlers in that county. There 
he and his wife were baptized into the Church of the Breth- 
ren. His wife dying, he was left with three small children. 
Returning to Ohio, he married Elizabeth Huffard. To this 
union were born three children. In about 1869, he was again 
left a widower. Later he was united in marriage with 
Nancy Kauffman of Logan county, Ohio, to which union 
were born eight children. 

In the spring of 1872 the family came to Anderson 
county, Kans. It was his aim and strong desire to build up 
churches in the new country. At that time there were 
probably only three members of the Brethren in the county. 
In the fall of 1872 the Cedar Creek congregation was organ- 
ized with eleven charter members. At the first love feast 
Elder Isaac Hershey and Brother Isaac Studebaker were 

Bro. Studebaker made full proof of his ministry even 
in these early days. There were more calls than he could 
fill. At one time he had regular appointments at six dif- 
ferent school houses. He often went from ten to fifteen 
miles to fill an appointment, often going at his own expense. 
A great number of baptisms resulted from his labors. In 
about 1874, probably earlier, he was ordained to the elder- 
ship. Then his responsibilities increased, since he had the 
oversight of numerous congregations in Southeastern Kan- 
sas, a large number of which he himself organized. Among 
the churches under his care at different times were Paint 
Creek, Neosho, Fredonia, Verdigris, Grenola, Independence 
and Scott Valley. The Cedar Creek church prospered under 
his leadership until some time in the eighties it numbered 
154 members and the territory was divided by organizing 
Scott Valley in the western end. 

Bro. Studebaker lived to a ripe old age and for the last 
few years of his life he was obliged to give up his connec- 
tion with adjoining congregations. But he kept up the 
work of the home congregation until the last. He was 
always cheerful and pleasant. Especially was he sociable 


with the young people and children, who were always his 
friends. He departed this life on July 23, 1914. 

Bro. Studebaker was doubtless one of the best known 
of the pioneers of Kansas. His services for the church led 
to his serving on the Standing Committee in 1874 and 1882. 


James Lebbaeus Switzer, son of John and Elizabeth 
Wolfe Switzer is the oldest of a family of ten children. 
He was born on December 15, 1837, near Union Bridge, 
Maryland. His grandparents on both sides and his mother 
were members of the Church of the Brethren. 

As a youth, he shunned society, was morbidly timid 
and sensitive, and was too diffident to "speak pieces" in 
school. For a time he had poor health. As a student he 
showed marked ability and a fondness for books and music. 
After leaving school at the age of sixteen, he taught in the 
"Literary Tyro Association," an organization perfected by 
his uncle, Daniel Wolfe, and meeting in a vacant room in 
Union Bridge. While thus engaged he pursued the higher 
branches. But the political virulence of Know-Nothingism, 
the wide-spread belief in Spiritualism, and the attempt to 
introduce the study of the Bible into the curriculum, all 
caused more or less confusion and embarrassment to the 
young teacher. 

During his last year in Maryland James had the privi- 
lege of eating dinner with John Brown, of Osawatomie and 
Harper's Ferry fame. In 1855, he was apprenticed to 
another uncle at the carpenter's trade. After two years 
of apprenticeship, the family moved to Johnson county, 
Iowa, where later the father died and left James to help his 
mother care for a family of nine younger children. 

J. L. was doing carpenter work on the Iowa State Asy- 
lum for the blind when his brother, Jacob, enlisted in the 
army. And soon he, too, was carried away by patriotic 
enthusiasm despite the thought of the dependence of his 
widowed mother; but he would not leave her until an uncle 
agreed to care for her and the family. At the parting she 
gave each of the two boys a Testament and exacted a prom- 
ise that they would read them. This promise they kept, and 
J. L., after suffering from sickness and some minor injuries 
in battle, was led to make Jacob's vow recorded in Genesis 
28:20-21. While at home on furlough, in 1864, he made his 


way to the nearest Brethren church, the South English con- 
gregation, thirty miles away, and was baptized by Jacob 
Brower. In 1867, he was called to the ministry in the 
Crooked Creek congregation in Johnson county, Iowa, under 
David Rittenhouse, presiding elder. Upon being received 
into the ministry, in answer to prayer, he was much relieved 
of his former timidity and confused sensitiveness. Thus, 
in a providential manner, he received strength that was un- 
accountable to him. In 1871, he was advanced to the second 
degree in Johnson county by Elders Jacob Brower and John 

In 1872, Brother Switzer moved to Jewell county, Kan- 
sas, where he preached his first sermon in the state in the 
summer of that year. From 1872 to 1886, he was asso- 
ciated with Elder Allen Ives in frontier missionary work. 
The churches of Burr Oak, White Rock, Belleville, and others 
owe much to their sacrificing labors. Their work was ably 
supplemented by that of John Forney, S. C. Stump, Jonathan 
Lichty, M. M. Eshelman, and Lemuel Hillery. Bro. Switzer 
was ordained to the eldership in the Burr Oak church in 
1875, by Elders S. C. Stump and Allen Ives. 

Brother Switzer was married on May 12, 1867, to Eliza 
Kaye, in Washington county, Iowa. His wife was baptized 
the following year. She is still (1921) his companion. To 
them were born nine children. Two of the children died in 
infancy. Two have united with the church of their parents. 
All but one have engaged in the printing business and are 
making an enviable success of that calling. Bro. Switzer 
at present resides at Carterville, Missouri. For many years 
he has been an interesting contributor to the various Breth- 
ren publications, usually writing along historical or reminis- 
cent lines. 


Jacob Diehl Trostle, oldest child of Michael and Susan 
Diehl Trostle, of German parentage, was born on Septem- 
ber 25, 1825, near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania. On his father's 
side the family was of the Lutheran faith ; on the mother's, 
of the Church of the Brethren. Four of the five sons were 
chosen to the ministry and the two daughters became min- 
isters' wives. 

Jacob's education was meager. He worked on the farm 
and learned the milling trade, but never followed the latter. 


He is described as having been "quiet, thoughtful, and 
piously inclined." He first united with the Church of God, 
but in December, 1845, cast his lot with the Church of the 
Brethren. On February 18, 1847, he was united in marriage 
with Sarah Pfoutz. Of the twelve children born to them, 
seven reached maturity. 

On February 8, 1851, Bro. Trostle was elected to the 
ministry in the Marsh Creek congregation, Pennsylvania. 
In 1854, he moved to a farm near Linganore, Maryland, 
where he lived for thirty years. Here, on October 14, 1859, 
in the Bush Creek congregation, he was ordained to the 
eldership. His preaching tours took him to a great many 
of the churches in the eastern states. 

In 1884, Bro. Trostle with his family moved to Hope, 
Dickinson county, Kansas, where he lived until the end. He 
was a successful farmer, a congenial neighbor, and a citizen 
of the highest type. His influence was much felt at District 
Conference and at the Annual Conference. Seven times — 
in the years 1870, 1877, 1881, 1883, 1885, 1887, and 1897 
— he served on the Standing Committee of the Annual Con- 
ference. In Kansas, as in the East, he traveled much among 
the churches. On his travels he helped organize a large 
number of the churches of the state. 

Bro. Trostle's last days were marked by suffering. Can- 
cer attacked his mighty frame and on June 15, 1899, laid 
him low. His body rests in the cemetery near Navarre, 


Daniel Vaniman, born on February 4, 1835, was the 
youngest son of Jacob and Mary Bowman Vaniman. He 
was born on a farm near Dayton, Montgomery county, Ohio. 
His education was received in the common schools of his 
native state. He was a natural student and early entered 
the school room as a teacher. Thus, he became a well- 
informed man. With his wife he united with the Church 
of the Brethren near Liberty, in Montgomery county, Ohio, 
on April 10, 1859. 

In 1864, Bro. Vaniman located near Virden, Macoupin 
county, Illinois, where he turned his attention to farming. 
His talent was recognized by the West Otter Creek congre- 
gation, which on April 8, 1865, called him to the ministry. 
He was advanced on May 29, 1866. In the Macoupin Creek 


congregation he was ordained to the eldership on Septem- 
ber 15, 1876, Elders David Frantz and John Metzger officiat- 
ing. The ministry had always appealed to Bro. Vaniman 
and accordingly he began early in life to prepare for the 
call which he anticipated would come. As a minister he 
was logical, simple, and clear. His writings were character- 
ized by terseness and common sense. He was a pioneer in 
the work of Sunday Schools, missions, and education in the 
Church of the Brethren. In 1884, he became a member of 
the General Mission Board and the same year formulated 
the missionary plan now used by the church. In 1885, he 
became chairman of the Board, which position he held until 
1894. He may well be called the "Father of the India mis- 
sions." In 1897, he raised $50,000 to buy for the Brother- 
hood the Publishing House, then located at Mount Morris, 
Illinois. For many years from June 10, 1892, he was travel- 
ing secretary of the General Mission Board and raised much 
endowment for missions. 

In the spring of 1889, Bro. Vaniman moved with his 
family to McPherson, Kansas, to become identified with 
McPherson College. He was a member of the Board of 
Trustees for several years, serving for a while as President 
of the Board. For many years he was one of the most 
influential men in the Brotherhood. At Annual Conference 
he was especially in evidence. Six times he was a member 
of Standing Committee, in the years 1882, 1884, 1886, 1891, 
1892, and in 1901. Three times he was Moderator of the 
Conference, and in that capacity served with great distinc- 

Bro. Vaniman was married twice. His first wife was 
Maria, daughter of John and Esther Kimmel, of Mont- 
gomery county, Ohio. They were married on September 
2, 1858. To this union was born one son — Albert W., who 
later became a missionary to Sweden and who passed away 
in 1908. Sister Vaniman died of consumption on June 2, 
1860. On February 28, 1861, Bro. Vaniman chose as his 
wife Elizabeth, daughter of Daniel and Hannah Stutsman, 
of Elkhart county, Indiana, who became the mother of five 
sons and one daughter. 

Bro. Vaniman spent his last days on College Hill at 
McPherson. He was a large factor in both the college and 
the local church. His death occurred very suddenly on No- 


vember 15, 1903. He is buried in the McPherson cemetery. 


Paul Wetzel was born in Germany, where he received 
a good university training. At the age of twenty-two he 
came to America, living at different times in Somerset 
county, Pennsylvania, Lee county, Illinois, Grundy Center, 
Iowa, and McPherson, Kansas. While living in Iowa, he 
and J. M. Snyder were editors of the Briiderbote, a church 
paper devoted to the interests of the German members of 
the Church of the Brethren. Locating on College Hill at 
McPherson, he built the commodious residence on East 
Euclid street later bought by the lamented Professor S. B. 
Fahnestock. His later years were spent in Southern Cali- 
fornia. He was a brilliant preacher in German. Few min- 
isters among the Brethren made a finer appearance in the 
pulpit. He died in June, 1899, in Kansas City, Missouri, 
paralysis being the cause of his death. 


Albert Cassel Wieand, son of David R. and Eliza Cassel 
Wieand, was born Jan. 17, 1871, near Wadsworth, Medina 
county, Ohio. His baptism occurred in 1884 in the Chip- 
pewa church, Ohio. It was also in this congregation that 
he was called to the ministry on Oct. 22, 1893. His ordina- 
tion to the eldership took place in the McPherson church, 
Kansas, on May 21, 1898, when President C. E. Arnold and 
J. P. Harshbarger were also ordained. 

Bro. Wieand's mind early showed an educational bent 
and from 1886 to 1888, he attended the Northern Ohio 
Normal School at Smithville, Ohio. In the fall of 1888, he 
entered Juniata College, where in the spring of 1890 he took 
the B.E. degree. The next year he spent pursuing regular 
academy work in that institution. While a student there 
he tutored in various branches — penmanship, shorthand, 
grammar, rhetoric, literature, orthography, arithmetic and 
physiology. The school year, 1891-1892 he taught in the 
academy at Smithville. In the fall of 1892 he came to 
Kansas and entered McPherson College, taking college 
work. He was graduated with the class of 1896, receiving 
the A.B. degree, having earned his way by teaching. From 
the fall of 1895 till 1899, he was a member of the college 
faculty, serving as head of the department of English and 


Expression and also as principal of the Normal department. 
During a part of this time he was a trustee of the college, 
in which position he greatly aided in reorganizing the insti- 
tution, paying off debts and finishing the present Sharp 
Administration building. Upon leaving McPherson Bro. 
Wieand entered Columbia College of Expression, where he 
was graduated from the Teachers' Course. The summer of 
1900, he spent studying Theology in the University of Chi- 
cago. In the fall of that year he returned to McPherson 
College where he taught Greek. His alma mater conferred 
the A.M. degree upon him at the 1901 Commencement. He 
then spent a year in the University of Chicago, again study- 
ing Theology. 

In company with Bro. E. B. Hoff, Bro. Wieand spent 
the years 1902 and 1903 abroad. They traveled in Pales- 
tine, Egypt, and Europe. Bro. Wieand studied in the Uni- 
versity of Jena, Germany, pursuing courses in Philosophy 
and Pedagogy under Liebmann, Euchen, and Rein. Return- 
ing to America he became the head of the Religious Educa- 
tion Department of the Bible Teachers' Training School in 
New York City. He was also at this time a student in 
Columbia University, where in one year he completed credits 
for the degree Doctor of Philosophy in the School of Educa- 
tion. Although taking the requisite examinations in Ger- 
man and French, he did not take the final examinations or 
complete the dissertation. The spring and summer of 1905 
he spent in Europe making research studies in the principal 
countries of the continent on the subject of Religious Educa- 
tion. One semester he was a student in the University of 
Leipzig under such men as Volkelt and Wundt. 

On Oct. 5, 1905, the long cherished project of breth- 
ren Wieand and Hoff came to realization when Bethany 
Bible School opened its doors in Chicago. Since that time 
Bro. Wieand has been a very large factor in the life of that 
institution. He has served the church in many capacities 
and with unswerving loyalty. In 1908, he was appointed a 
member of the General Educational Board, of which he 
was for a time secretary. In 1916, he became contributing 
editor of the Gospel Messenger, to which he has for years 
contributed articles of a deep scholarly nature. In 1917, he 
published "Foundation Truths" and in 1918, "The Child's 
Life of Christ." Annual Conference has made frequent 


use of Bro. Wieand. He was on the Standing Committee 
in 1903, 1908, 1910, and 1918, being writing clerk each 
time. In 1917, Manchester College conferred upon Bro. 
Wieand the degree Doctor of Divinity. 

June 16, 1909 Bro. Wieand was united in marriage with 
Miss Katherine Broadwater, daughter of John W. and Lizzie 
Drury Broadwater of Preston, Minn. In 1910 and 1911, 
with a party of tourists, the Wieands went abroad, visiting 
Europe, Asia Minor, Palestine, Egypt, and India. It was on 
this trip that a rather perilous experience occurred in 
which the Bedouins detained the party, planning to rob 
and murder its members, but after a period of sus- 
pense, they were, in the providence of God, res- 
cued by a friendly tribe. Bro. Wieand's arduous 
duties at Bethany have not interfered materially 
with one of his favorite avocations — holding Bible Insti- 
tutes — and this line of endeavor has brought him into 
helpful touch with thousands of eager students through- 
out the Brotherhood. 


John Henry Bashor Williams, third son of Nathaniel 
K. and Louisa Bashor Williams, the former from Carter 
county, and the latter from Washington county, Tennessee, 
was born near Belleville, Kansas, on April 14, 1883. The 
mother was a sister of S. H. Bashor, once so widely known 
among the Brethren. 

Henry took advantage of the schooling afforded him 
and finished the grades in 1896. He completed his high 
school course in Belleville in 1899. Then he entered Mc- 
Pherson College, where in 1901, he was graduated from the 
academy course. He took his A.B. with the class of 1906. 
Among his classmates were Frank H. and Anna N. Crum- 
packer, and Emma Horning. 

Henry became a Christian on July 29, 1899, in the Belle- 
ville church, when Elder A. C. Daggett administered bap- 
tism. The same congregation, on September 23, 1903, called 
him to the ministry. He was advanced in the ministerial 
office while a student in college (April 7, 1906). During 
his student days he was President of the college Y. M. C. A. 
(1905 and 1906). His ordination occurred in the Elgin 
church, Illinois, on August 25, 1911. On April 11, 1913, he 
became elder in charge of the Elgin congregation. 


Soon after his graduation from college, on May 31, 
1906, Bro. Williams took for his wife Miss Alma Ball, daugh- 
ter of William S. and Olive Ball. The young couple located 
at first on a farm near Belleville, but in January, 1908, Bro. 
Williams received a call from the General Mission Board to 
assume a secretarial position in Elgin, Illinois. On April 
14, 1909, he became a member of the Gish Fund Committee. 
On June 9, 1910, he was elected assistant secretary of the 
General Mission Board. Upon the resignation of Galen B. 
Royer in August, 1918, Bro. Williams became secretary of 
the Board, which position he held until his death. On 
April 11, 1912, he was elected editor of the Missionary 
Visitor. From 1913 to 1918, he served on the General 
Educational Board, acting as secretary of that board for 
several years- 

Bro. Williams was a very useful man to the church. 
At Annual Conference he was always prominently con- 
nected with the missionary meeting. In 1920, with J. J.Yo- 
der, he visited the foreign mission fields of the church. 
The entire church was shocked to learn that in April, 
1921, just as the party was entering Africa, Brother Wil- 
liams was stricken with typhoid fever, and passed away 
on the 17th, at Mombasa, British East Africa, at which 
place the body was interred. 


John Wise, one of the outstanding figures in Brethren 
history in the nineteenth century, was born near Washing- 
ton, Washington county, Pennsylvania, on May 18, 1822. 
His Grandfather Wise came from Schwarzenau, Germany. 
On his mother's side his grandparents were members of the 
Church of the Brethren. 

At seventeen John was teaching school. For thirty- 
two terms he was a teacher. At the age of twenty, while 
living within the Ten Mile congregation, Pennsylvania, he 
united (June 4, 1842), with the Brethren. James Quinter 
was elder in charge of the congregation. On October 18, 
1851 (or 1854), he was ordained in the Ten Mile congre- 
gation. He attended his first Annual Conference in York 
county, Pennsylvania, in 1844, riding on horseback for two 
hundred and twenty miles over the Alleghenies to be pres- 
ent. In 1908, at Des Moines, Iowa, he attended his last 


On February 27, 1847, Bro. Wise married Nancy 
Grable, who was his companion for fifty-three years. There 
were six sons and four daughters. 

In 1867, Bro. Wise moved to Brooklyn, Iowa, where 
he lived until the spring of 1868, when he moved to Wa- 
terloo, same state. After residing here one year he re- 
turned to Pennsylvania, where he stayed until 1877, when 
he again moved to Waterloo. In 1878, he located near 
what is now Conway Springs, Kansas. 

Bro. Wise served on at least three important commit- 
tees of the church. In 1866, he was on the John A. Bowman 
committee sent to Tennessee; in 1881, he was on the com- 
mittee sent to confer with the River Brethren in Canada; 
and later, he was chairman of the committee sent to Berlin, 
Pennsylvania, to deal with the Progressive faction headed 
by H. R. Holsinger. He served on the Standing Committee 
of Annual Conference in the years 1865, 1866,1868,1869, 
1870, 1873, 1877, 1880, 1881, 1882, 1883, 1884, 1889, 1890, 
1892, 1893, 1896, and 1901. In 1885, he was Moderator of the 
Conference. Fifteen times he was Reading Clerk. In 1858, 
he presented to Conference a paper requesting the creation 
of a General Mission Board. This paper was returned but 
he was not discouraged. He originated the paper permitting 
districts to hold ministerial meetings. His interest in and 
enthusiasm for Sunday Schools were early aroused. 

Bro. Wise was for years one of the most prominent 
Brethren in Kansas. His pulpit efforts were strong and 
convincing. He had the abilities of a debater and was de- 
voted to the defense of the doctrines as believed and prac- 
ticed by the Brethren. Blindness came over him during the 
last years of his life. His winters were spent in the Old 
Folks Home at Darlow and his summers with a son at Con- 
way Springs. He passed away on June 26, 1909, and is 
buried in the cemetery at Conway Springs. 


Jacob Witmore, son of Jonathan and Catharine Cover 
Witmore, was born on December 5, 1844, in Franklin 
county, Pennsylvania, near the city of Chambersburg. In 
the summer of 1850, he, with his parents, three older 
brothers and two sisters, moved to Wood county, in north- 
western Ohio. Here he grew to manhood. At the age 


of seventeen he united with the Church of the Brethren 
in the Portage congregation. At the age of eighteen he 
was given his freedom by his father. Several years there- 
after were spent in attending school, teaching, and car- 

In 1865, Bro. Witmore was elected to the office of deacon 
in the Portage church. On December 23, 1867, he was 
united in marriage with Miss Amanda Bosserman of Han- 
cock county, Ohio. To this union were born two sons and 
two daughters, one son dying in infancy. The other son, 
Ira, was for many years elder in charge of the church at 
Adrian, Mo., but is now (1920) a resident of McPherson. 
One daughter is the wife' of Dr. H. J. Harnly of the 
faculty of McPherson College and the other is the wife 
of Ellis S. Strickler, a minister, at El Centro, California. In 
1868, Bro. Witmore was elected to the ministry in the 
Eagle Creek church, Ohio. He was ordained in the summer 
of 1881, in the same congregation, by Elder J. P. Ebersole. 

In the summer of 1881, he moved with his family from 
Hardin county, Ohio, to Johnson county, Mo., where he later 
became pastor and elder of the Centerview congregation, 
enduring many of the hardships that fall to a minister who 
must at the same time preach the Word and also earn his 
daily bread by some other means. 

In November, 1888, Elder Witmore was sent by the 
General Mission Board as the first Brethren missionary to 
California. He started his work at Glendora (December 
22, 1888), but also preached at Covina, Spadra Valley, 
Azusa, Pasadena, Los Angeles, Glendale, Tujunga, Tim- 
berville, and Stockton. During his stay in California he 
baptized twenty-five persons. The first district confer- 
ence held in California was held in Covina and was under 
Bro. Witmore's supervision. 

Elder Witmore had a long experience as an evangelist 
and secured many souls for the Kingdom. Twice (1891 and 
1895) he served on the Standing Committee of the Annual 
Conference. From 1893 to his death his home was, 
with few interruptions, on College Hill, McPherson. Until 
a few weeks before his decease he had enjoyed fairly good 
health. His passing occurred on Sunday night, December 
26, 1920. 



Peter R. Wrightsman was born in Montgomery county, 
Virginia., on May 16, 1834. His father, Daniel Wrightsman, 
moved to Limestone, Washington county, Tennessee, when 
P. R. was seventeen years old. The latter united with the 
Church of the Brethren in 1857, and soon thereafter (1860) 
was elected to the ministry. From 1862 to 1865 he was in 
close contact with the war activities of the South. At times 
he suffered persecutions because of his conscientious scru- 
ples. In 1864, he was conscripted by the Confederate 
government. He was chosen by the Limestone church to 
carry to the Confederate Congress a petition asking ex- 
emption for non-resistant people. This mission he per- 
formed with success. 

Brother Wrightsman was educated at the Laurel Hill 
Seminary in East Tennessee. In October, 1867, he was 
united in marriage with Sister Elizabeth Witter at South 
Bend, Indiana. In 1868, he was graduated from the Eclectic 
Medical College in Cincinnati, Ohio. Thence he went to 
Dayton, and in 1871, to South Bend, Indiana. About four 
years later, in the Portage congregation, Indiana, he was 
ordained to the eldership. In 1880, he moved to Kansas for 
his health, locating near Abilene, in Dickinson county. He 
exercised a strong influence in settling Kansas with Breth- 
ren from the East. In 1894, the need of a warmer climate 
constrained him to go South. Atlanta, Georgia, was his 
destination. In 1901, he made another move, this time to 
Saginaw, Texas, where in addition to his church duties, he 
practiced medicine. He died at Saginaw on December 29, 


Charles Madison Yearout, son of James A. and Lydia 
Bowman Yearout, was born on March 19, 1857, at Floyd, 
Floyd county, Virginia. The mother was the daughter 
of Christian and Hannah Bowman of Floyd county. James 
Yearout and family moved to Fayette county, West Vir- 
ginia, in 1858, or 1859. In the fall of 1869, they moved 
to Kansas, taking eight weeks for the trip in a covered 
wagon, and settling on Rock Creek in Morris county, north 
of the present site of Dunlap. Later they moved five miles 
northwest of Americus in Lyon county. 

Charles grew up with the country. Since he was the 


oldest child of a family of ten children, his educational 
advantages were somewhat limited. He attended school 
only in the winter months, supplementing the knowledge 
thus gained, however, by night study often prolonged until 
two o'clock in the morning. The Bible was his constant 
study. He carried a New Testament in his pocket while 
working in the field. At the age of eighteen he had its 
contents well memorized. 

There were but few ministers of the Brethren in Kan- 
sas in those days, and for that reason, on July 3, 1875, 
Charles was compelled to go to the Verdigris river, 
twenty miles from where his parents lived, over in Green- 
wood county, to tell the Brethren that he wanted to be 
baptized. The rite was administered by Elder Jacob Buck 
of the Cottonwood congregation. Of this event Charles has 
often said : "From that day to this there has never a doubt 
crossed my mind as to my peace and acceptance with God." 
In September, 1878 (or October, 1880) , at a love feast held 
about nine miles west of Emporia, in the Cottonwood val- 
ley, Charles was elected to the ministry. He was installed 
by Elder James E. Hilkey. 

Charles entered into his ministerial work with great 
earnestness. D. W. Stouder, one of his colleagues in the 
ministry, felt the burden of preaching the Word. As he was 
a good singer, the matter was arranged by having him 
serve in the capacity of singer while Bro. Yearout preached. 
For about eight years this arrangement obtained in the 
Verdigris church. At a love feast held in a tent northwest 
of Madison in the fall of 1883 or 1884, Bro. Yearout was 
advanced to the second degree of the ministry. Some time 
after this he moved to the Scott Valley church in Coffey 
county, where he remained for about seven years. On July 
7, 1891, he was ordained to the eldership at the Mount Joy 
school house, northwest of Westphalia, Elders S. Z. Sharp 
and Daniel Vaniman officiating. 

In October, 1880, in Lyon county, Bro. Yearout was 
married to Helen J. Clark, to which union two children were 
born, one of them dying in infancy. Sister Yearout died 
in Coffey county (April 12, 1888). In April, 1889, Bro. 
Yearout was married to Lillie G. Benway at Independence, 
Kansas. To this union four children have been born, two 
dying in infancy. 


Bro. Yearout has preached in about sixty-seven coun- 
ties of Kansas. He was a member of the first mission 
board elected in Kansas, Indian Territory, Colorado, and 
Texas. This board authorized the building of the churches 
of Lipscomb and Farwell, Texas. Bro. Yearout has served 
as missionary under district boards in Kansas, Southern 
Kansas, Oklahoma, and Texas ; Middle Iowa ; Southern Iowa ; 
Northern Missouri; Middle Missouri; First District of Vir- 
ginia; and Southern Virginia. He has thus spent over 
twenty-five years of his life. His ministerial work has 
taken him to twenty-two different states and this work has 
been a blessing to the world as well as a pleasure to the 
messenger, since through these years perhaps three thou- 
sand persons have been constrained through his ministra- 
tions to walk with the Savior. Bro. Yearout has been on 
the Standing Committee of the Annual Conference three 
times— in 1894, 1903, and 1906. 

Bro. Yearout has had charge of three churches in 
Kansas — Antioch, Scott Valley, and Morrill. For three 
years he was one of the board of visiting elders appointed 
by Annual Conference to visit McPherson College. At one 
time he was acquainted with every minister and elder in 
the state of Kansas. He is now living at Chico, California, 
and is still active in the work of the Master. 


Joseph J., oldest son of Jacob D. and Sarah Yoder 
Yoder, was born on November 24, 1868, in Somerset county, 
Pennsylvania. There are three other sons and two daugh- 
ters. W. H. is a minister in the Church of the Brethren and 
Mary E. is the wife of Elder M. J. Mishler. 

On March 22, 1879, the Yoder family arrived in Hutch- 
inson, Kansas. A farm was secured in Hayes township in 
McPherson county, and here J. J. grew to manhood. His 
father had the foresight to buy considerable cheap land and 
thus in time became well to do. J. J. was trained on the 
farm but early showed an interest in education. He was 
one of the first year students at McPherson College, and 
was graduated from the Academy of that institution in 
1894. He also taught eight years in the schools of McPher- 
son county. Settling on the farm southwest of Conway, 
he devoted himself to the interests of the farm and the 
church until in 1908, when he re-entered McPherson College, 


from which he took the A. B. degree in 1913. On May 30, 
1895, he was united in marriage with Miss Sadie Strohm, 
of Harlan, Iowa. Three sons survive of the four born to 
this union. 

While a student at the college, in 1889, J. J. was bap- 
tized into the Church of the Brethren by S. G. Lehmer. The 
Monitor church recognized his ability and inclinations by 
calling him to the ministry on June 11, 1892. On April 29, 
1893, he was advanced in office, and on January 6, 1901, with 
Elders A. M. Dickey and S. J. Miller officiating, he was 
ordained to the eldership. For some time until 1912, he 
had the oversight of the Monitor congregation. He has 
also at various times been elder of the churches at Wichita, 
Peabody, and Morrill. In 1912, he became a member of 
the Executive Board of the Kansas State Sunday School 
Association. In 1908, he was appointed a member of the 
General Mission Board of the Church of the Brethren. Since 
1898, he has been a member of the District Mission Board 
of Southwestern Kansas and Southeastern Colorado, of 
which since 1900, he has been president. He represented 
his district on the Standing Committee of Annual Confer- 
ence in 1905, 1910, 1913, and 1917. At the Wichita Con- 
ference (1917) he served as Writing Clerk. 

Soon after returning to McPherson College in 1908, he 
was employed to teach in the Bible department of the school. 
In the fall of 1911, he succeeded Professor S. B. Fahnestock 
as business manager of the college. For three school years 
succeeding 1909, he was pastor of the McPherson church. 
For several years he was Dean of the Bible department. 
Since 1911, he has been President of the Board of Trustees 
of the college, on which he has served many years. 

Professor Yoder represents a remarkable combination 
of business acumen, scholarly tastes, and spiritual discern- 
ment. McPherson College has prospered under his skillful 
management. He has made a success of his own business 
and that of others. He is a forceful speaker and is in 
demand for any and all occasions. 

In 1920-1921, with J. H. B. Williams, he constituted a 
committee of the General Mission Board delegated to visit 
the mission fields of the church, this duty entailing a tour 
of the world. 



William Henry Yoder, youngest son of J. D. and Sarah 
Yoder Yoder, was born southwest of McPherson, Kansas, 
within the bounds of the Monitor church. His parents were 
both of good Pennsylvania Dutch stock and came from 
Somerset county in an early day. W. H. was born on 
January 4, 1883. 

The district school started young Yoder on his educa- 
tional career. At sixteen he united with the Church of the 
Brethren under the preaching of A. C. Wieand. In 1899, 
after completing the common schools, he entered McPher- 
son College, from which he was graduated in the Normal 
course in 1904. He then taught and farmed five years. In 
1911, he returned to McPherson College and finished his 
college course with the class of 1915, taking the degree A.B. 

For the greater part of his life Bro. Yoder has been 
associated with the work of the Monitor congregation. That 
church, on July 27, 1907, called him to the Gospel ministry. 
On July 1, 1911, it advanced h\m in office and on Nov. 28, 
1914, he was ordained to the eldership by Elders Jacob Wit- 
more and E. M. Studebaker. He was the first employed 
pastor of the Monitor church. He has served as elder in 
charge of the churches of Monitor and Morrill. Since May 
1, 1919, he has been pastor of the Morrill congregation. 

On September 18, 1907, Bro. Yoder was united in 
marriage with Miss Elva Herr, daughter of George R. and 
Mattie Herr of Navarre, Kansas. There are three children 
— two boys and one girl. 

In the six revival efforts which he has held, Bro. Yoder 
has had substantial results, thirty-seven converts having 
been won through his efforts. While he was pastor at 
Monitor there was a forty-four per cent increase in the 
membership of that church. His special lines of interest 
are boys' organized classes, the young people, and commun- 
ity work. At present (1920) he is a director of the Beatrice 
(Nebraska) Brethren Assembly. In 1919, he was elected 
alumni representative on the Board of Trustees of McPher- 
son College. In June, 1920, Bro. Yoder represented North- 
eastern Kansas on the Standing Committee at Annual Con- 



FEW states have shown greater growth in missionary 
• propaganda than has Kansas. In 1885, the Brethren 
in the whole state gave only the ridiculously small sum of 
$53.30 to the cause. This, of course, is partly explained 
by the fact that there were no regularly organized chan- 
nels thru which to give. The church was almost entirely 
rural, there were no foreign missionaries and there were 
few leaders who were far-sighted enough to adopt an ag- 
gressive policy. Indeed, it was not until 1893, that the 
idea of a mission in China was presented. This idea came 
from A. W. Vaniman, of Kansas, who was destined later 
to spend some time as missionary to Sweden. 

Home missions began to receive attention in the 
eighties, probably about 1885. Northwestern Kansas 
seems to have been the most active. Statistics as to the 
amount of money spent in the district do not reveal the 
real extent of the work. Much of the work was donated, 
or it often happened that the district mission board hired 
some one to take-up the labor of the itinerant preacher 
while he was away from home. The preacher usually, 
although not always, depended on free-will offerings. 
Usually several such men were selected by District Con- 
ference as missionaries for one year at a time. The dis- 
trict was divided in such a way that the labors of the 
evangelists might not conflict. A part of the business ses- 
sion of each conference was devoted to the receiving of 
the reports of the evangelists. These reports conveyed 
such information as territory covered, time spent, number 
of sermons delivered, number of accessions, and the gen- 
eral condition of the work. There was no effort made to 
get into the larger towns. In 1887, the District Confer- 
ence of Northwestern Kansas asked that each minister 
preach one sermon during the year on missions. From 



this time missions occupy a very prominent place in the 
deliberations of the District Conference. 

In 1889, Northeastern Kansas set apart six ministers 
whose special work was to look after the isolated. Some- 
what the same propaganda was carried on as just de- 
scribed. However, the problem of the cities and towns 
was here undertaken, with the consequence that in the 
course of time preaching services were held or mission 
points established in such places as Hiawatha, Atchison, 
Topeka, Kansas City, Emporia, and Clay Center. On 
March 1, 1898, it was reported that nine men had been 
baptized at the state penitentiary. Of the several mis- 
sion points named, that of Kansas City is the most import- 
ant. All of the others, in fact, except that of Topeka, 
have been abandoned. The mission in the capital city 
has been organized into a self-supporting church. 

Southeastern Kansas early began to look after her 
scattered members. She was once a strong district but 
her history of later years is one of losses. A complete re- 
cord of her home mission work is not at hand but much 
aid has been extended by the district to struggling congre- 
gations. At different times the District Board has aided 
the work at Arkansas City, Chanute, Independence, and 
perhaps other places. 

From information at hand it seems probable that home 
missions had received recognition in Southwestern Kan- 
sas in an organized way before 1891, but in that year a 
reorganization was rendered necessary because of re- 
districting of the southern half of the state. Thereupon 
a board of five was appointed. District workers were 
elected each year, two being the usual number.. Preach- 
ing, visiting churches, and distributing religious tracts 
constituted their chief duties. For some years Southwest- 
ern Kansas has supported the largest home mission bud- 
get in the state. At various times missions have been sup- 
ported at Wichita, Newton, Hutchinson, Larned, and Gar- 
den City. The Board is custodian of a small endowment 
fund for work in the district. 

The record for 1915, shows that Northeastern Kansas 
gave 85 cents per capita to foreign missions ; Northwest- 
ern, $1.44; Southeastern, 60 cents; and Southwestern, 


$1.02. The banner churches were Ramona ($2.15 per 
capita), Monitor ($2.04 per capita), Olathe ($2.04 per 
capita), Larned ($1.94 per capita), Bloom ($1.27 per 
capita), and Overbrook ($1.22 per capita). 

The work of missions at McPherson College is describ- 
ed elsewhere in this volume. The following persons have 
gone to the foreign field and may, either on account of 
nativity or residence for a time, be counted as having 
come from Kansas: (To India) Bertha Ryan Shirk, E. H. 
Eby, Emma Horner Eby, S. Ira Arnold, A. T. Hoffert, 
Ella Ebbert. (To China) F. H. Crumpacker, Mrs. F. H. 
Crumpacker, Emma Horning, Geo. W. Hilton, Mrs. Geo. 
W. Hilton, R. C. Flory, Mrs. R. C. Flory, Ernest D. Vani- 
man, Mrs. Ernest D. Vaniman, Myrtle Pollock, L. A. 
Stump, Mrs. L. A. Stump, Samuel B. Bowman, and Mrs. 
Samuel B. Bowman. (To Sweden) A. W. Vaniman and 
Mrs. A. W. Vaniman. 


The state of Kansas has in its population a more con- 
siderable element of the foreign-born than one might at 
first think. These foreigners are located in various parts 
of the state. It is more particularly in the western and 
northern parts, however, where the Brethren have come 
into contact with them. 

It is to be expected that in many of the localities the 
German membership is in evidence among the Brethren. 
Naturally, the percentage of German speaking member- 
ship is decreasing, but in former days it was not unusual 
to emphasize the need of German speaking ministers. 
Most of the twenty-two original members of the Wash- 
ington church, in Washington county, spoke German, 
having come from Berks county, Pennsylvania. As late as 
1896, all the preaching was done in German, the non-Ger- 
man element, however, in that year asking for an English 

During the activity of Elder Christian Hope, a lively 
interest, kindled largely by Brother Hope himself, be- 
came awakened in the Scandinavians. After his return 
from abroad he devoted the declining years of his life 
to religious work among his fellow Scandinavians. In 
1888, the district of Northeastern Kansas recommended 


the calling of Danes to the ministry. Earlier than this, 
however, on December 5, 1883, the Greenwood county 
church, in Southeastern Kansas, had called A. Peter Du- 
gard, a young Dane, to the ministry. He died at the early 
age of thirty three. 

Brother Hope found numbers of Swedes in Central 
Kansas to whom he ministered. His local church, at Her- 
ington, called T. C. Peterson to the ministry. In 1898, 
Brother Hope opened up preaching appointments in Dan- 
ish settlements in Washington and Clay counties. In 
1899, the Scandinavians lost a warm friend when Brother 
Hope went to his Maker to give an acount of his steward- 
ship. Little has been done to carry on his chosen work. 


The earlier history of the Ozawkie church contains 
the erratic career of Lewis O. Hummer, of North Topeka, 
Kansas. Hummer was the son of Samuel Hummer, for- 
merly of Gettysburg, Pa., and first came into notice in 
Kansas in connection with the publication of a small 
monthly paper called "The Free Discussion. ,, This per- 
iodical, published at North Topeka and later at Eskridge, 
at the nominal sum of fifty cents a year, was designed to 
make an especially strong appeal to the liberal element 
in the church, particularly the ministry. It was devoted 
"to moral and political science." Several of the issues of 
this short-lived paper are on file in the library of the State 
Historical Society at Topeka, the first being that of Sep- 
tember, 1879. This issue starts out with a ten column ap- 
peal to its readers for a loan of five hundred dollars for 
eighteen months with good security for the purpose of 
instituting proceedings against a Mr. and Mrs. Downs for 
the recovery of the editor's daughter, Ellen, who had be- 
come insane while in the custody of the Downs family, 
and who was now confined in the asylum at Fulton, Mo. 
This matter seemed to weigh very heavily on the mind of 
the father and took up many columns of the little paper. 

Hummer was violently critical of the church and her 
practices. His extreme views as expressed in the paper 
brought him under the censure of the Ozawkie (then 
Grasshopper Valley) church. Finally he was expelled, 
and the following anouncement appeared in the Primi- 


tive Christian: "This is to inform the brethren and sis- 
ters that we, the brethren and sisters of the Grasshopper 
Valley Church, met in council today to consider charges 
brought against Brother Lewis O. Hummer, who is a mem- 
ber of this arm of the Church, and edits a little monthlj 
paper published at North Topeka, Kansas. On investiga- 
tion he was found guilty of using profane language, ac- 
cording to his own confession, and has boldly set himself 
up as judge of the whole brotherhood, denying the rights 
of the Annual Meeting and railing on the Church in gen- 
eral, with severe and unchristian language, which we sup- 
pose many of our dear brethren and sisters, both in the 
east and west are aware of, who have read his paper. He 
was willing to confess to the first charge of using profane 
language, but when asked to relinquish printing articles 
manifesting such an uncharitable spirit he utterly refused 
and tried to justify himself in free speech. Consequently 
he was disowned as a member. We wish this action of 
of the Church published as a warning to the Brotherhood 
in general. He expects to appeal to Annual Meeting for 
redress — the very court which he denies the right of 
power. This is written by order of the Church. " 
Hummer published this notice in the Free Discussion 
of April 1880, but in his comments denied that any such 
charges were preferred, taking three columns to dispose 
of the notice. In the March number of his paper he had 
announced that he would soon publish a constitution suit- 
able for the government of the church. Finally, in April, 
1881, this interesting document appeared in the columns 
of the Free Discussion. The author confessed, however, 
that he had composed it in the remarkably short period 
of three hours. Among the various innovations which he 
advocated were the following : the taxation of the prop- 
erty of the members by the church in order to secure 
equality in church support; all unavoidable loss of prop- 
erty by members to be borne equally by members accord- 
ing as the Lord has prospered them; the abolition of us- 
ury; no member to go into debt without first counseling 
the church, after which, the church became a party to the 
transaction and hence responsible for the debt; payment 
for ministerial services; permission to use instrumental 


music in churches ; the abolition of the rite of ordination. 
On this last point he once wrote, "Every man or woman 
that believes that Jesus is the Christ has a Divine right 
to teach and baptize and observe all the institutions of the 
Lord." As already intimated, he was violently opposed 
to extensive powers exercised by the Annual Conference. 
Uniformity in dress found no favor in his eyes. 

Hummer was also obsessed with the notion of a speedy 
second coming of the Lord. In January, 1888, he publicly 
made the claim that he was "the first man to enlighten 
the saints with reference to going to Jerusalem to meet 
Christ." Coupled with this is a halfway suggestion that 
he is himself the prophet of Malachai. Bro. John A. 
Root says that he was in company with Hummer on the 
way to the Bismarck Grove Conference in 1883, and that 
the latter was highly elated over the prospect of organ- 
izing a colony of the faithful to locate in Jerusalem. 

The paper had a hard struggle to live. The author's 
poverty, the ultra-radical tone of the publication, and the 
hostility of the church made its existence continually pre- 
carious. Many stopped the paper without paying for 
it. It became increasingly the organ of personal 
abuse. It was full of grammatical and typographical 
errors. The editor died in the latter eighties and thus 
ended a career rather unique in Brethren history in Kan- 


1867— Washington Creek. (W. Mo. and Kan.) 
1868— Cottonwood. 

1869— Plattsburg, Mo. (W. Mo. and Kan.) 
1870— Ozawkie. 

1871— Falls City, Neb. (Kan. and Neb.) 
1872 — Appanoose. (Kan. and Neb.) 
1873— Falls City, Neb. (Kan. and Neb.) 

1874— Ozawkie. (N. Kan. and Neb.) ; Pleasant Grove (S. Kan.) 
1875— Pony Creek. (N. E. Ks. and S. E. Neb.) ; Washington Creek 

(S. Kan.) 
1876— Falls City, Neb. (N. Ks., Colo., and Neb.) ; Paint Cr. (S. Kan.) 
1877 — Ozawkie (N. Kan., Colo., and Neb.); Parsons (S. Kan.) 
1878— S. Beatrice, Neb. (N. Kan. and S. Neb.) 
1879— Burr Oak (N. Kan. and S. Neb.); Fredonia (S. Kan.) 
1880— Abilene (S. Neb., Colo., and N. Ks.) ; Peabody (S. Kan.) 



1881— Pony Creek (N. Kan., Neb., and Colo.) 

Washington Creek 
(S. Ks.) 

1882— Ozawkie; N. Solomon. 

Northeastern Northwestern Southern 

1883— Pony Creek Belleville Paint Creek 

1884 — Pleasant Grove Dorrance Neosho 

1885 — Ozawkie St. Vrain Osage 

1886— Morrill ? Mont Ida 

1887— Sabetha Belleville Peabody 

1888 — Washington Cr. Saline Valley Conway Springs, 

1889 — Chapman Creek Quinter Pleasant View 

1890 — Appanoose N. Solomon Fredonia 

1891 — Morrill Maple Grove Verdigris 

Northeastern Northwestern 

1892— Olathe Burr Oak 
1893 — Ozawkie Fairview 
1894— Navarre St. Vrain 
1895— Vermillion Belleville 
1896— Pleasant N. Solomon 

1897 — Sabetha Dorrance 
1898— Washing- Quinter 

ton Creek 
1899— Morrill Burr Oak 
1900— Vermillion St. Vrain 
1901 — Navarre Belleville 
1902— Ozawkie N. Solomon 
1903 — AppanooseDorrance 
1904— Morrill Quinter 
1905— CottonwoodGrand Valley 
1906— Sabetha Victor 

1907— Ottawa 
1908— Ozawkie 
1909— Navarre 
1910— Morrill 
1911 — Washing- 
ton Creek 
1912— Sabetha 
1913 — Overbrook Burr Oak 
1914 — Ozawkie Victor 
1915— Ottawa 
1916— Morrill 
1917 — Navarre 
1918 — Ozawkie 

Burr Oak 
White Rock 
N. Solomon 


N. Solomon 
White Rock 
Maple Grove 

1919 — Appanoose Quinter 
1920— Sabetha Colo. Springs 
1921— Abilene 



Paint Creek 
Scott Valley 
Mont Ida 

Fort Scott 



Paint Creek 






Mont Ida 



Scott Valley 

Paint Creek 




Mont Ida 




Paint Creek 





Walnut Valley 
Conway Springs 
Kansas Center 
Eden Valley • 


Pleasant View 

Rocky Ford 
Conway Springs 
Larned (Rural) 
Eden Valley 
Garden City 
Rocky Ford 
Newton (City) 

Conway Springs 

Pleasant View 
Larned (Rural) 
E. Wichita 
Rocky Ford 





1862— John Bower 

1863 — Unrepresented 

1864 — John Bower 

1865 — Unrepresented 

1866 — Unrepresented 

1867 — Unrepresented 

1868 — Unrepresented 

1869 — Unrepresented 

1870— William Gish 

1871 — John Harshey 

1872— William Gish 

1873 — Unrepresented 

1874 — J. Lichty; Jesse Studebaker 

1875 — Samuel C. Stump 

1876— William Gish 

1877— J. Lichty 

1878 — J. Lichty; J. Hershey 

1879 — Unrepresented 

1880— J. Lichty; M. T. Baer 

1881 — Unrepresented 


1882— J. Forney 
1883— William Gish 
1884 — J. Forney 
1885— J. D. Trostle 
1886— William Davis 
1887— J. D. Trostle 
1888 — George Myers 
1889— J. A. Root 
1890— J. Forney 
1891— J. S. Mohler 


L. Hillery 

G. W. Fesler 

Eli Renner 

M. M. Eshelman 

J. Hollinger 

M. M. Eshelman 

Isaac Studebaker 

J. Hollinger 

B. B. Whitmer 

J. Ikenberry 


G. W. Studebaker 

M. T. Baer 

S. Hodgden 

John Wise 

W. Wyland 

E. Eby 

L. Hillery 

J. Wise 

E. Eby 

D. Vaniman 


1892— W. Davis 
1893— J. S. Mohler 
1894— G. E. Wise 
1895—1. H. Crist 
1896— A. VanDyke 
1897— J. D. Trostle 
1898— W. Davis 
1899— G. E. Wise 
1900— R. A. Yoder 
1901—1. L. Hoover 
1902 — Geo. Manon 


B. B. Whitmer 

C. S. Holsinger 

B. B. Whitmer 
J. Hollinger 

C. S. Holsinger 
J. B. Wertz 

S. L. Myers 
I. S. Lerew 
L. E. Keltner 
G. M. Throne 
C. S. Holsinger 


J. H. Neher 
S. Edgecomb 
C. M. Yearout 
W. B. Sell 
W. B. Sell 
S. Hodgden 
C. J. Fogle 
W. B. Sell 
E. M. Wolfe 
John Sherfy 
M.O. Hodgden 


J. Wise 

J. Wise 

E. Eby 

J. Witmore 

J. Wise 

G. E. Studebaker 

M. Keller 

E. Eby 

A. F. Miller 

J. Wise 

M. Keller 






-W. Davis J. 
-R. A. Yoder A. 
-Geo. Manon I. 
-R. F. McCuneD. 
-W. Davis T. 
-Geo. Manon B. 
-I. L. Hoover D. 
-R. A. Yoder A. 
-H. F. Crist D. 
-H. L. Bram- A. 

-O. O. Button G. 
-C. B. Smith D. 
-W. A. Kinzie E. 
-Geo. Manon D. 
-O. R. McCune G. 
-E. F. Sherfy G. 

W. Jarboe 
C. Daggett 
S. Lerew 
A. Crist 
E. George 
E. Kesler 
A. Crist 
C. Daggett 
A. Crist 

C. Daggett 

R. Eller 
A. Crist 

D. Stewart 
A. Crist 
W. Burgin 
R. Eller 

S. Beery 
E. M. Wolfe 

G. W. Weddle 
G. E. Studebaker 

1919 — Geo. Manon G. O. Stutzman 
1920— W. H. Yoder H. F. Crist 
1921— Geo. Manon J. E. Small 

John Sherfy J. J. Yoder 
E. E. Joyce S. J. Miller 

S. E. Lantz 
G. R. Eller 
C. A. Miller 

M. Keller 
J. E. Crist 
M. Keller 

W.C.Watkins J. J. Yoder 
S. E. Lantz J. E. Crist 
J. S. Clark M. Keller 

F. G. Edwards J. J. Yoder 
J. E. Crist E. M. Studebaker 
J. S. Sherfy D. W. Kurtz 
S. E. Lantz J. E. Jones 
M. E. Stair J. J. Yoder 
R. W. Quak- D. W. Kurtz 

D. P. Neher Jacob Funk 
J. A. CampbellD. W. Kurtz 
L. G. Temple- M. J. Mishler 




(Dates of periods of service are indicated) 

Baker, Frank L., 1914-1916. 
Bish, W. R., 1920—. 
Bradley, Frank H., ? -1891. 
Bosserman, W. P., 1916-1918. 
Boyd, A. L., 1915-1916. 
Butler, L. H., 1899-1903. 
Bryant, L. E., 1917-1921. 
Brubaker, Henry, 1893-1896. 
Burgin, Geo. W., 1915—. 
Daggett, A. C, 1912-1915. 
Detter, F. P., 1911-1920. 
Dresher, J. N., 1911—. 
Fahnestock, S. B., 1899-1911. 
Flory, J. A., 1913-1920. 
Frantz, Edward, 1898-1911. 
Gabel, J. S., 1912-1913; 1921- 
Gibbel, Isaac D., 1914-1916. 
Gitt, C. W., 1916-1919 
Harnly, H. J., 1893—. 
Holsopple, W. W., 1919—. 
Hornbaker, W. R., 1912-1914. 
Hutchison, D. P., 1896-1898. 
Jones, J. Edwin, 1914-1916. 
Kinzie, W. A., 1912-1915. 
Kuns/J. L., 1890-1893. 
Kuns, Noah, 1896-1898. 
Lichty, C. J., 1913-1916. 

Marchand, F. E., 1918-1921. 
Martin, Emry, 1916-1920. 
Mohler, James M., 1912-1919. 
Miller, Samuel, 1891-1892. 
Miller, U. C., 1916-1919. 
McCune, Frank E., 1915-1918. 
Nickey, S. G., 1919—. 
Peck, J. H., ? -1893. 
Pitzer, J. R., 1914-1915. 
Rhodes, S. A., 1921—. 
Riddlesbarger, A. E., 1918-1921. 
Rodabaugh, E. G., 1912—. 
Sanger, J. F., 1912-1914. 
Sawyer, Albert, 1912-1913. 
Strohm, R. C., 1920—. 
Shirky, G. E., 1912—. 
Sharp, S. Z., 1916-1917; 1921—. 
Saylor, Norman, 1918 — . 
Teeter, D. W., 1919-1921. 
Vaniman, A. W., ? -1893. 
Vaniman, Daniel, 1889-1896. 
Vaniman, F. A., 1892-1913; 

Witmore, Jacob, 1896-1898. 
Wieand, A. C., 1898-1899. 
Yoder, J. J., 1902—. 
Yoder, W. H., 1919—. 


George E. Studebaker (1888-1891), A. W. Vaniman (1891-April 
9, 1892), J. H. Peck (April 9, 1892-February 10, 1894), F. A. Vani- 
man, (February 10, 1894-May 17, 1894), J. H. Peck (May 17, 1894- 
October 8, 1894), D. P. Hutchison (October 8, 1894- ? ), S. B. Fahn- 
estock ( ? -1911), J. J. Yoder (1911— ). 

(Note: The author is unable to secure several of the dates in 
the above list.) 


(A few dates are not obtainable.) 

Abel, Orie J., Bookkeeping 1907-1908. 

Anderson, Alma G., English and History 1920-1921; Public Speaking 

Andes, Mattie, Typewriting 1902- ? 


Arnold, C. E., Mathematics and Pedagogy 1893-1902. 

Arnold, D. H., Algebra 1899-1900. 

Arnold, S. Ira, Arithmetic 1908-1910. 

Baldwin, O. B., Education and History 1911-1914. 

Barnhill, Gilbert E., German 1912-1913. 

Bartels, Minnie, Grammar 1905-1906; German and Physiology 1906- 

Beckner, William O., S. S. Ped., Physiol, and U. S. History. 

Bishop, Margaret, History and Civics 1901-1902. 

Blair, John A., Business 1911-1916; Education 1918—. 

Boaz, Edna Detter, Expression 1912-1915. 

Bowman, Joseph L., Algebra 1916-1917. 

Bowers, J. Frank, Penmanship 1905-1908. 

Bradbury, Louis A., Physiology 1912-1913. 

Bragers, Joseph, Violin 1916-1918. 

Brown, Jessie, Piano 1915 — . 

Carpenter, Pearl Ebaugh, German and English 1910-1911. 

Charles, Edna Neher, English, 1919-1920. 

Clement, Corda, French 1907-1908. 

Clement, John A., Pedagogy 1902-1913. 

Cline, Furman R., Bookkeeping 1906-1907. 

Craik, Elmer LeRoy, Latin and German 1909-1915; History and Pol- 
itical Science 1915 — . 

Crumpacker, Anna Newland, Orthography 1904-1906. 

Culler, Arthur Jerome, Theology 1914-1921. 

Dalke, Anna Garber, Orthography 1908-1910. 

Dalke, Diedrich L., German 1908-1910. 

Daniels, Latha, Piano 1920-1921. 

Davidson, H. Frances, Latin and English 1888-1894; English and 
Pedagogy 1896-1898. 

Deeter, John W., Theology 1918—. 

Deeter, Mrs. J. W., Art 1919—. 

Detrick, Lulu Hildebrand, Grammar 1908-1910. 

Detter, Ralph W., Mathematics and History 1909-1910. 

Duerksen, John F., German 1899-1905. 

Duerksen, Peter F., German 1897-1901. 

Ebaugh, lone, Latin 1918-1919. 

Ebel, Bartel E., Latin and Greek 1905-1909; 1920—. 

Eby, Enoch H., Bible History 1901—. 

Elder, L. W., Education 1905-1906. 

Fahnestock, Amanda, Stenography and Typewriting 1889-1896; 
Church History 1903-1906; Bible 1913—. 

Fahnestock, S. B., Business 1889-1911. 

Frantz, Adolf I., German and French 1917-1918. 

Frantz, Edward, Mathematics 1891- ? ; Theology and Bible 19 ? 

Frantz, Ruth, English and Public Speaking 1919-1921. 


Franz, J. J., Vocal Music 1902-1903. 

Fries, J. Howard, Business 1916 — . 

Frizell, Arthur B., Mathematics 1912-1917. 

Gaw, Forrest W., Voice 1921—. 

Geaque, Harry A., Chemistry and Physics 1913-1914. 

Gilbert, James Z., Geography and Orthography 1892-1895. 

Goertz, Peter S., German 1909-1910. 

Gustafson, C. F., Chemistry and Latin 1899-1901. 

Hadley, Tillie I., Art 1921-1922. 

Haldeman, Daisy Rider, Art 1916-1917. 

Harms, Abraham J., German 1915-1916. 

Harnly, Henry J., Natural Science 1892 — . 

Hamly, Paul W., Mathematics 1914-1915. 

Harter, A. L., Grammar 1898-1899. 

Haugh, Benjamin S., Vocal Music 1896; 1911-1913. 

Haugh, Laura Harshbarger, Stenography and Typewriting 1896- ? ; 
Expression 1911-1913. 

Hawkinson, Lily O., History 1912-1913. 

Hedine, Mary Frantz, Grammar 1901-1904; Latin 1904-1907. 

Hershey, J. Willard, Chemistry 1918—. 

Hess, Maurice A., Mathematics, English, and Science 1919 — . 

Hill, Lola M,, English and German 1921—. 

Hinkson, Nellie, Art and Sloyd 1907-1908. 

Hollinger, Martha E., Home Economics 1920-1921. 

Holsopple, Eva Boone, English 1920-1921. 

Hoover, David H., Sociology and Economics 1920-1922. 

Hoover, Elizabeth Culp, Domestic Science 1913-1914. 

Hope, Lillie, Shorthand and Typewriting 1906-1912. 

Huber, Leonard, Ancient and Modern Languages 1888-1896. 

Ikenberry, Ernest L., Vocal Music 1919-1920. 

Ikenberry, L. D., Vocal Music 1894-1895. 

Johnson, Louise, Expression 1907-1909. 

Johnson, Lucetta, Latin 1901- ? . 

Jones, J. Estel, English 1916-1917. 

Kimmel, Lester F., English 1917-1918. 

Klepinger, J. C, Geography and History 1891-1892. 

Kochenderfer, Clarence C, Education and Philosophy 1909-1911. 

Kurtz, Daniel Webster, Theology and Philosophy 1914 — . 

Lauer, A. Ray, Violin 1919—. 

Lauver, George M., Arithmetic 1897-1898; geography and orthogra- 
phy 1896-1897. 

Lehmer, G. G., Normal training 1888-1889. 

Lehmer, S. G., Mathematics 1888-1890. 

Lichtenwalter, Homer O., Mathematics 1910-1912. 

Loewen, C. A., Elocution and Physical Culture 1904-1905. 

Lonborg, Arthur C, Coach 1921—. 


Long-, Edgar F., English 1912-1916. 

McGaffey, Edith, Latin 1917-1918; English 1919—. 

McGlothlin, Anna Fakes, Orthography 1899-1900. 

McVey, Anne, Expression 1915-1919. 

Markey, E. A., Orthography, Geography, and History 1890-1891. 

Matchette, Orral, English 1911-1912. 

Metzger, Anita, Mathematics 1901-1902. 

Miller, Gertrude S., Shorthand and Typewriting 1918-1921. 

Miller, Hannah Hope, Shorthand and Typewriting 1901-1906. 

Miller, Howard, Science and Literature 1888-1889. 

Miller, Sebastian C., English 1907-1910. 

Miller, Samuel J.« History and Civics 1891-1896; English and German 

Mohler, John E., Orthography 1889-1890. 
Mohler, Frank E., Civics 1916-1917. 
Mohler, Joseph R., Mathematics 1889-1890. 
Mohler, Robert E., Agriculture 1913 — . 
Moran, Evelyn, Expression 1909-1911. 
Morris, Charles S., Mathematics and Physics 1917 — . 
Muir, Freeman G., Piano and Harmony 1888-1915. 
Murray, Nora, Orthography 1891-1892. 
Muse, Marguerite, Expression 1917-1919. 
Neher, N. N., Vocal Music 1891-1892. 
Neher, V. Grace, Shorthand and Typewriting 1914-1917. 
Nelson, E. F., Arithmetic 1904-1905. 
Newton, A. H., Chemistry and Mathematics 1909-1910. 
Nininger, Harvey H., Biology 1920 — . 
Nofziger, F. U., Mathematics 1889-1891. 
Poole, W. J., Arithmetic 1898-1899. 
Richer, J. D., Civil Government 1890-1891. 
Rowland, Charles L., Vocal Music 1913-1920. 
Russel, Jouette C, Chemistry 1910-1913; 1915-1918. 
Russel, Robert R., Civics 1913-1914. 

Sargent, Lena Wieand, Elocution and Physical Culture 1898- ? . 
Saylor, Sue Slusher, Grammar and Latin 1891-1896; English 1898- ? . 
Schisler, J. H., Grammar, History, Elocution 1892-1893. 
Schlichting, Martin H., German 1915-1916. 
Schmidt, Adria Boone, English 1917-1918. 
Seidel, Paul W., Bookkeeping and Penmanship. 
Sharp, Effa Kuns, Elocution 1892-1893. 
Sharp, S. Z., Mental and Moral Science 1888-1896. 
Sharp, Theodore, Orthography 1891- ? . 

Shirk, Claude J., Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics 1904-1911. 
Shirk, J. A. Garfield, Mathematics and Chemistry 1901-1904. 
Slifer, William J., Bookkeeping and Penmanship 1908- ? . 
Smith, Grace, Typewriting 1903-1904. 


Snoeberger, A. L., Business 1888-1889. 

Snowberger, Theodore, Arithmetic 1894-1895. 

Steele, D. C, History and Civics 1910-1911. 

Steven, Laurene, Modern Languages 1919-1920. 

Stodghill, Charles M., Chemistry and Physics 1914-1915. 

Stouffer, G. R., Penmanship 1889-1890. 

Strole, W. Park, Shorthand and Typewriting 1912-1913. 

Studebaker, Ellis M., Bookkeeping and Penmanship 1901- ? ; Bible 
and Greek 1911—. 

Studebaker, John F., Shorthand and Typewriting 1898- ? . 

Studebaker, Marion M., Arithmetic 1906-1908; History and Geog- 
raphy 1908-1910. 

Stump, Levi A., Normal Training 1917-1918. 

Swope, Ammon, Education and Manual Training 1916 — . 

Thompson, H. Walter, German and Latin 1909-1912. 

Throne, John E., Bookkeeping 1904- ? . 

Tilberg, Benj. R., Voice 1920-1921. 

Toews, Peter F., German 1907-1909. 

Topham, Laura, Modern Languages 1918-1919. 

Trostle, Evelyn, English 1912-1921. 

Ullrey, Jessie A., Expression, 1905-1907. 

Unruh, E. J., Shorthand and Typewriting 1921 — . 

Vance, Amos M., Education and History 1915-1916. 

VanDyke, Catherine, Orthography and Rhetoric 1894-1896. 

Van Dyke, George H., Physiology 1894-1896. 

Vaniman, Albert W., Bible History 1892- ? . 

Vaniman, Ernest D., Grammar 1907-1908; Vocal Music 1910-1911. 

Vaniman, Elmer E., Vocal Music 1894-1897. 

Vaniman, Pauline, Piano 1919-1920; 1921—. 

Vaniman, Verna Baker, Orthography 1901- ? . 

Walters, Minnie, Home Economics 1914-1920; 1921 — . 

Wampler, C. W., Bible History 1902-1905. 

Weaver, Delia Macomber, Arithmetic 1905-1906. 

Wieand, Albert C, English 1892-1896; Elocution and Physical Culture 

Windle, Minnie, Oratory and Physical Culture 1893-1896. 

Winger, Roger D., Religious Education 1920-1922. 

Yarco, Eva M., Shorthand and Typewriting 1917-1918. 

Yoder, Jonathan J., Orthography 1906-1907. 

Yoder, Joseph J., Bible and Sociology 1910 — . 

Young, Marguerite, English and History 1917-1918. 


Both Washington Creek and Wolf River are credited 
with having been the second congregation to be organized 
in Kansas. These statements are contradictory but they 
are based upon sources which were impossible of verifica- 
tion when this book was written. (See pp. 258, 265.) 

The name Brammell (p. 274) is spelled incorrectly in 
line two. 

"Sping" (p. 352) should be spring. 

"Buger" (p. 307) should be Burger. 

"Satell" (p. 313) should be Sawtelle.